It is an infectious disease caused by small bacterial organisms called Brucella Canis. It mainly affects the reproductive organs of the male and female dogs. Brucellosis can cause miscarriages and even infertility in female dogs. In male dogs, it can cause infertility along with inflammation of the testicles. This condition can make puppies born as stillborns or even weak at birth.
Sigs & Symptoms
- Laziness with swollen lymph nodes
- Difficulty in walking
- Prolong back pain
- Newborns being weak
- Vaginal discharge in females and swollen testicles in males
- Inflammation of the scrotum
Diagnosis is often challenging. The vet may suggest these following tests:
- Spinal X-rays
- A cytology culture
- A complete blood count
- Chemistry tests the kidney, liver, and pancreas
- Polymerase chain reaction
If the diagnosis reveals Brucellosis, then the vet may suggest spaying which will prevent this condition from spreading to other canines. Diagnosis is mainly done through a blood test, and the most common blood test is RAST. It can detect the infection within three to four weeks. If suffering from Brucellosis, it will further need to be reconfirmed through an advanced test called the Agar Gel Immunodiffusion Test.
Although antibiotics help a lot, there is no complete and effective treatment for this condition. If a dog gets this infection, the animal has to carry this condition for the rest of its life. If the dog continues with antibiotics, it requires to shed bacteria throughout the rest of its entire life. Surgical removal of the affected area will decrease the shedding levels.
Euthanasia: Some American states allow the practice of euthanasia of the affected dogs, to ensure that the other animals nearby stay safe.
Brucellosis is much more prevalent in the USA than any other part of North America, or in the world. As this is a significant threat to the dogs, breeding houses should regularly check for this condition. Doctors often prescribe regular checkups with intervals of three to months depending on the exposure level on the dog. Introducing new dogs to the kennel situation should be prohibited until the dog gets quarantined for about eight to twelve weeks.
Most experts recommend that the dog should go through two blood tests, four weeks apart at the end of the quarantine period. In the USA, Brucellosis is a common case, giving it a great public importance. The vets and physicians should regularly report such cases to the federal authorities.
Is Brucellosis contagious?
Yes. It is a zoonotic condition which means, Brucellosis can spread from animal to animal. Humans are also vulnerable to this condition if they constantly come in contact with the animal suffering from this condition. Vets and breeders who frequently get in contact with the affected dog’s blood or urine samples are at high risk of getting this disease. People with a low immunity level should always stay away from the affected pet. This beforementioned suggestion is also applicable for people with HIV/AIDS, patients in a chemotherapy session or receiving radiation therapy.
People who frequently come in contact with newborn crossbreeds will also have to always abide by precautionary measures to prevent them from getting this condition. Always wear disposable gloves when handling newborn pups. After removing the disposable gloves always wash the hands with soap and water.