Brucellosis in Dogs
Brucellosis in dogs is a disease caused by the bacteria called brucella canis.
It is a venereal disease that usually occurs in kennels and affects both male and female dogs. It can be the cause of death in unborn litters and can also be passed on to humans. In humans, brucellosis can lead to liver complications and also arthritis. The disease is considered to be so serious it is sometimes recommended that infected dogs be put down. Even puppies born with brucellosis may die soon after birth.
In some cases, the disease may stay hidden and the dog may not manifest any signs or symptoms.
Brucellosis in Dogs Symptoms, Treatment
Brucellosis is transmitted sexually and an infected male or female dog can pass on the infection to the partner. A female dog’s infected urine may also cause transmission of the infection to dogs that come in contact with it. Contact with aborted fetuses can also spread brucellosis. In most cases, females carry the infection causing organism. However they may not display any symptoms and the disease may go undetected until the fetuses or puppies die.
In cases of severe infection, male dogs may display certain symptoms. But these symptoms may not be very noticeable. The bacteria thrive within the testicles and seminal fluids of male dogs. Therefore brucellosis in dogs symptoms include scratching of the testicles and testicular inflammation. Lesions may also develop on the testicles. Slight swelling of the lymph nodes is also possible. The bacteria may also spread to the eyes and kidneys. The pain caused by the disease may render the dog weak. Signs of brucellosis in dogs also include reluctance to mate because of inflammation and pain of the sexual organs. There is no proven effective cure for brucellosis in dogs. The disease may not kill the dog, but breeding may become impossible. Since brucellosis can be a risk for humans, stillborn fetuses, membranes and placenta must be handled with caution. To diagnose brucellosis in a dog, the veterinarian will conduct certain testing which is known to be quite accurate. Brucellosis in dogs treatment does include some antibiotic medication. However the results of such treatments are mixed. Such medications may cause only a temporary reduction of the bacteria. A complete cure is unlikely and although there are various attempts which can be made, these can prove to be expensive. In order to prevent brucellosis, new dogs in a breeding program must be kept in isolation until they are properly tested.