Rhipicephalus spp

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Adult Rhipicephalus sanguineus tick

Rhipicephalus spp are a ubiquitous hematophagous parasitic tick found worldwide.

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Rhipicephalus sanguineus
  • Rhipicephalus bursa[1]
  • Rhipicephalus microplus (formerly Boophilus microplus)[2]
  • Rhipicephalus decoloratus[3]
  • Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides[4]
  • Rhipicephalus turanicus[5]

Rhipicephalus can complete its entire life cycle indoors. Because of this, it can establish populations in colder climates, and has been found in much of the world. Many tick species can be carried indoors on animals, but cannot complete their entire life cycle inside. Although R. sanguineus will feed on a wide variety of mammals, dogs are the preferred host in the U.S. and appear to be required to develop large infestations.

Rhipicephalus rarely causes clinical signs in dogs unless there are large numbers or puppies are infected. However, this tick can transmit Rickettsia spp, Ehrlichia spp, Hepatozoon spp, Mycoplasma spp and Babesia spp parasites[6].

In dogs, symptoms of canine ehrlichiosis include lameness and fever; those for babesiosis include fever, anorexia and anemia. Rhipicephalus sanguineus has not been shown to transmit the bacteria which causes Lyme disease in humans[7].

Diagnosis of infection with R. sanguineus requires identification of the tick and distinguishing it from larger ticks such as Ixodes holocyclus, which causes tick paralysis in dogs.

Adult ticks can be easily removed, and prevention employs the use of topical formulations such as imidacloprid or permethrins.

Resistance to ticks have been reported in dogs[8].

References

  1. Jamshidi S et al (2012) A survey of ectoparasite infestation in dogs in Tehran, Iran. Rev Bras Parasitol Vet 21(3):326-329
  2. Fuehrer HP et al (2012) Ectoparasites of livestock, dogs, and wild rodents in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in southeastern Bangladesh. Parasitol Res 111(4):1867-1870
  3. Ogo NI et al (2012) Molecular identification of tick-borne pathogens in Nigerian ticks. Vet Parasitol 187(3-4):572-577
  4. Hsu YM et al (2011) Identification of Rickettsia felis in fleas but not ticks on stray cats and dogs and the evidence of Rickettsia rhipicephali only in adult stage of Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 34(6):513-518
  5. Chochlakis D et al (2012)
  6. Abd Rani PA et al (2011) A survey of canine tick-borne diseases in India. Parasit Vectors 4:141
  7. Wikipedia
  8. Inokuma, H et al (1997) Dogs develop resistance to Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Vet Parasitol 68(3):295-297