The state veterinarian, Dr. Jeff Kaisand, says several cases of canine brucellosis have been confirmed at a commercial breeding facility for small dogs in Marion County. Health officials in Iowa have issued quarantines for facilities containing the exposed dogs as they undergo clinical testing. People who recently purchased small dogs in Marion County are also urged to contact their veterinarians. While the infection can technically be transmitted to people through infected fluids, human cases of brucellosis are quite rare, according to a report by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Iowa Department of Health also warns against breeding dogs before testing for the disease. The CDC noted that it "will probably remain a threat to human health and animal welfare unless stronger intervention measures are implemented".
According to VCA Hospitals, "Canine brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection caused by the bacterium, Brucella canis (B. canis)". If you live in Iowa and are around dogs a lot, it may not be the flu, but rather Canine Brucellosis.
Protective clothing such as gloves and masks should be worn when assisting with the delivery of newborn puppies or handling reproductive tissues and hands should always be washed properly afterwards.
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In dogs, the disease causes reproductive issues, such as abortions, infertility, or stillbirths.
Despite the control of rabies in domestic dogs in the US, each year interactions with suspect animals result in the need to observe or test hundreds of thousands of animals and to administer rabies postexposure prophylaxis to 30,000 to 60,000 persons, says the CDC.
The rescue said their shelter building is closed for the next 30 days and warned those who have bought dogs from breeders in Iowa to test for brucellosis. "Please pray for our sweet babies that were finally getting the chance to have a happy life", the group wrote. It can also affect certain organs such as swelling of the liver or spleen, swelling of the testicle and scrotum area, and swelling of the heart (endocarditis). Antibiotics are used to treat the disease, but it can also come back after treatment.