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Canine Brucellosis

Brucellosis is a beacterial Infection caused by various strains of the Brucella bacteria. The most common to infect dogs is Brucella canis. The bacteria can be transmitted to people, although this is rare and isn't likely to cause serious symptoms in a healthy human being.

Infection and Transmission

Brucellosis is very contagious. It is most often transmitted between dogs during breeding, but it can also be spread through direct contact with bodily fluids like urine, saliva and blood. Puppies can became infected in the womb or while nursing. Since variations of Brucella are common in livestock, dogs who are kept around livestock animals are at the highest risk. Unless conditions are ideal, the Brucella canis bacteria will have trouble surviving in the enviroment outside of a host. It's easily killed with common disinfectants like bleach.

Symptoms

  • Female Dogs- inability to conceive and late-term fetal abortions
  • Male Dogs- rendered infertile and expeience testicular swelling.
  • Paralysis of the rear legs
  • Back pain
  • Lethargy
  • Eye inflammation
  • Lymph node enlargement
  • Kidney inflammation

Treatment

Brucellosis can be difficult to treat because the bacteria infects multiple body tissues. An infected dog should be removed from any breding program and be spayed or neutered. Combinations of antibiotics may help to rid the bosy of the bacteria, but Brucellosis tends to be very resilient. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics like doxycycline, tetracycline or minocycline, among other medicines to treat your dog. The full courses of these antibiotics may take several weeks or months to complete. Dogs treated with antibiotics are at risk for eventual reinfection.

Prevention

There isn't a vaccine to protect against Brucellosis, but regular screening is effective for catching the disease early and keeping dog populations healthy. Isolation of infected animals is also key, and the enviroment of an infected dog should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before any dog is reintroduced to the area.