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Published On: Sat, Nov 30th, 2013

Michigan warns of dog infections. What is Canine Brucellosis?

According to a press release earlier this week, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill reports three investigations into Canine Brucellosis in Michigan dogs in the past four months, one each in Montcalm, Calhoun, and Mackinac counties.

“Brucellosis is a reportable disease and any person who suspects their dog is infected or may have come from a breeder with infected dogs should contact their veterinarian and have the dog tested,” said Averill. “Pets do not have to be euthanized, but it’s important to follow the guidelines to prevent spreading the infection, including spaying or neutering, and isolation from other dogs.”

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual:

Brucella canis is a cause of abortion at 45–55 days of gestation in kenneled dogs. Dogs are the only definitive host of this organism. Infection has caused a reduction of 75% in the number of pups weaned in some breeding kennels. The disease disseminates rapidly among closely confined dogs, especially at time of breeding or when abortions occur. Transmission occurs via ingestion of contaminated materials or venereal routes. Urine transmission has been reported but seems to be unusual. Both sexes appear to be equally susceptible.

Primary signs are abortion during the last trimester of pregnancy without premonitory signs, stillbirths, and conception failures. Prolonged vaginal discharge usually follows abortion. Abortions may occur during subsequent pregnancies.

Attempts at immunization have not been successful. Control is based on elimination or isolation of infected dogs identified by positive cultural or serologic tests at monthly intervals.

Averill adds, signs in dogs include failure to become pregnant, abortions, stillbirths, inflammation in the male reproductive system, semen abnormalities, eye abnormalities, and severe back pain.

Public domain image/C. E. Price

Public domain image/C. E. Price

Dr. Averill notes that canine brucellosis can be transmitted to people through exposure to birthing fluids, saliva, feces, urine, and eye or nasal fluids. People with brucellosis may experience “flu-like” symptoms including fever, chills, body aches, headaches and sweating. They may also develop more serious, prolonged conditions.

“Antibiotics will not cure canine brucellosis. Once a dog is infected, the animal remains infected for life,” said Averill. ”While spaying and neutering infected dogs will reduce the risk of spreading canine brucellosis to humans or other dogs, the risk of spread is not completely eliminated.”

MDARD offers these recommendations to owners:

• Every dog owner planning a litter needs to make sure their dogs, and any dogs they are planning to use in a breeding program, do not have brucellosis.
• Breeding kennels should be on a brucellosis surveillance program to help assure they are not selling brucellosis infected puppies, or infected adult dogs to the public.
• Anyone purchasing a puppy from a breeder should ask to see negative test results from the dogs that produced the litter of puppies.
• Anyone acquiring a dog from a pet shop or an animal shelter should ask their veterinarian about screening tests for canine brucellosis.
• Ask your veterinarians to test for brucellosis with any newly acquired breeding dogs, those with a history of reproductive problems, or any canines with certain eye and spinal disorders.

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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