American dog tick: The tick most commonly responsible for transmitting R. rickettsii, the agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This tick is widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains and also occurs in limited areas on the Pacific Coast. Dogs and medium-sized mammals are the preferred hosts of this tick, although it feeds readily on other large mammals, including humans. The scientific name for the American dog tick is Dermacentor variabilis.
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Last Editorial Review: 9/14/2016