At the dog park this past weekend and overheard a conversation between a person talking loudly on her phone earpiece. At first I thought she was talking to herself, you’ve seen this before. Anyhow, she was talking about her dog getting an STD. Immediately I’m calling my dog so we can leave the park, quick. I had never heard of a dogs giving each other STD’s, so as soon as I got home I looked it up… she was right and I’m glad we left the park. Here’s what I found…
What is Canine Brucellosis
Canine Brucellosis is a bacterial infection and highly contagious between dogs. This bacterial infection is spread through bodily fluids (urine, blood, semen) which is either sniffed, licking and through sexual transmission.
With summer approaching, and people visiting breeders and shelters to adopt, be mindful that you should always wash your hands after handling any newborn puppy. Not trying to scare anyone, but the research we’ve found suggests practicing good hygiene (wearing gloves, washing hands,etc) after a visit to a shelter or breeder that has had newborn puppies. Or if you’ve come into contact with a dog that has sure symptoms of Brucellosis.
Symptoms of Canine Brucellosis
If your dog has Canine Brucellosis, they might be exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty walking|Back pain
- Weak newborn puppies
- Vaginal discharge
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Swollen testicles and skin inflammation around the scrotum
Both male and female dogs may also experience infertility, as well, the female may abort her litter or the litter will be stillborn or weak.
Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease, or a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans.
What Treatment is Offered to Cure Canine Brucellosis?
Studies show that a dog infected with Canine Brucellosis is infected for life. There are antibiotics to control the infection but there is no treatment that can eliminate the bacteria. A dog that has been neutered or spayed will certainly decrease the transmission of the disease from dog to dog, or dog to owner.
There are two tests which can be administered to a dog to discover if they are indeed infected with B. canis. The first is the a blood test called RAST (Rapid Slide Agglutination Test). This test is mainly for dogs that are used for breeding or have had puppies accidentally. The other test is the AGID (Agar Gel Immunodiffusion) test. It is always best to consult your veterinarian if you believe your dog may have come into contact with another infected dog (or dog fluid/secretion).
Can Humans Get This Infection?
Yes. Most people who handle breeding dogs (male and female), newborn puppies, after-birth or fetuses should always be alert to proper hygiene. Always wear gloves, dispose of gloves properly and never tough your eyes or mouth until you have properly washed your hands.
One of the best ways to prevent your dog from getting this bacteria is to spay or neuter them. If you are breeding your dog it is always best to have your dogs tested completely. If you are using a stud service (vice-versa), always ask to see a current physical of the dog provided by a local veterinarian.