The life cycle of the apicomplexan protozoon Hepatozoon canis in its natural hosts Rhipicephalus sanguineus (tick) and Canis familiaris (domestic dog) was studied in an experimental infection. Tick nymphs were fed on a naturally infected dog, or they were infected by percutaneous injection of blood. Dogs were inoculated by ingestion of adult ticks containing mature oocysts. Gamonts were in syzygy 24 hr after percutaneous injection of ticks. Early oocysts were detected 96 hr after nymph repletion, and mature oocysts in adult ticks were infective to dogs 40 days postmolt. Merogony was detected in dog bone marrow from 13 days postinoculation (PI) and included meronts containing 20-30 micromerozoites, and a second type with 2-4 macromerozoites. Monozoic cysts were observed in the spleen in conjunction with merogony. Gamontogony with infection of leukocytes by micromerozoites occurred from 26 days PI, and gamont parasitemia, which completed the life cycle, was detected 28 days PI. The length of the life cycle from nymphal attachment to parasitemia in dogs was 81 days. Increased body temperatures were evident from 16 to 27 days PI and paralleled the time of intensive bone marrow merogony. Skeletal pain and recumbency were manifested in 2 dogs. This study further elucidates the life cycle of H. canis and provides a sequential morphologic description of H. canis merogony, gamontogony, and sporogony.