Canine Brucella Ab


What is canine brucellosis?

Canine brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection caused by the Brucella canis bacterium (B. canis). This bacterial infection is highly contagious among dogs. Infected dogs often develop an infection of the reproductive system or a sexually transmitted disease. Different species of Canine Brucella infect sheep, goats, cattle, deer, elk, pigs, and other animals.

What are the signs of brucellosis?

Male dogs infected with brucellosis develop epididymitis, an infection in part of the testicle. A dog with a newly acquired infection will often have an enlarged scrotum or enlarged testicle and may have a rash on the scrotum. The dog may be infertile. In chronic or long-term cases, the testicles atrophy or shrink.

Bitches infected with brucellosis develop an infection of the uterus. This can cause you to be infertile, have difficulty getting pregnant, or miscarry late in pregnancy. You often have a persistent vaginal discharge. Typically, a pregnant bitch with brucellosis will abort at 45-55 days of gestation or give birth to weak or dead puppies that may die a few days after birth.

During the early stages of brucellosis, enlarged lymph nodes are sometimes seen, although fever is uncommon. Occasionally, B. canis will infect the intervertebral discs, eyes, kidneys, heart, or brain. If the bacteria infects these other tissues, the signs will be related to the body system that is infected.

How is canine brucellosis spread?

Large numbers of B. canis bacteria are shed in the genital secretions (semen or vaginal secretions) of an infected dog. Smaller amounts of bacteria can also be shed in the dog’s urine or saliva. After a dog miscarries due to brucellosis, she will continue to discharge fluids infected with the bacteria for 4 to 6 weeks after the abortion. Dogs are exposed to the disease through contact with infected bodily fluids. Although the most common route of infection is oral (i.e., by licking contaminated urine or secretions from the reproductive tract or by licking or chewing placental material or aborted fetuses), dogs can also contract a sexually transmitted infection, inhalation (sniffing contaminated urine or other secretions), or through other mucous membranes such as the eyes.

How is canine brucellosis diagnosed?

The infection is usually diagnosed through a blood test. The most common blood test is called the rapid slide agglutination test, or RSAT, and it can detect infections after three to four weeks. This test is used for screening breeding dogs, and negative tests are reliable unless the dog has recently been exposed to the disease. False positive tests are relatively common, and any dog that tests positive with the RSAT test should confirm the disease with an advanced test. In addition, the tube agglutination test (TAT), which provides a true measurement (titer) of antibodies to B. canis, can also be used as a screening test. A more specific test called an agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test, will identify infected animals 12 weeks to 1 year after infection. Other tests include ELISA assays, PCR tests, and bacterial cultures to look for the B. canis organism itself.

What is the treatment for canine brucellosis?

Although antibiotics (most often minocycline or doxycycline, possibly enrofloxacin) can be used to help control the infection, no treatment is completely effective in killing the bacteria, as it can persist in tissues. As a result, any dog that has been infected with B. canis should be considered infected for life. Even if the acute infection can be controlled with antibiotics, the dog may shed bacteria intermittently for the rest of his life. Surgical sterilization of the infected dog will decrease the shedding of the organisms into the environment, thus reducing the risk to other dogs. Supportive treatment for any other organ systems that have been affected by the bacteria is also tailored to the specific case.

How can brucellosis be controlled?

All kennels reporting a case of brucellosis should be quarantined immediately and infected animals should be prevented from breeding and preferably removed from the kennel. The bacteria itself does not survive well in the environment, although people who work with infected dogs should wear protective equipment such as gloves. Brucellosis in dogs has been reported in both the United States and Canada, with many of these cases originating in dogs imported from other parts of the world. Since the disease is a major threat to the reproductive capacity of dogs, all dogs used for breeding purposes should be tested regularly (eg, every 3-6 months, depending on exposure to other dogs). , and new dogs should never be introduced into a kennel situation until they have been quarantined and then tested for the disease.

Most experts recommend having two blood tests four weeks apart, near the end of the quarantine period. In the United States and some Canadian provinces, brucellosis is a notifiable disease, which means that the disease is of great public health significance, and veterinarians and physicians are required to report all positive cases to federal authorities or provincial.

Am I at risk of developing brucellosis from an infected dog?

Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease or a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Although people can become infected by coming into contact with infected animals, it is rare for a person to catch brucellosis from a dog.

Breeders and veterinarians exposed to the blood or other secretions of infected animals are at increased risk of developing an infection; Pet owners are not considered to be at high risk of infection because they are less likely to come into contact with blood, semen, or uterine secretions from an infected dog.

However, people with compromised immune systems should avoid contact with a dog diagnosed with brucellosis. People who come into contact with breeding dogs, newborn puppies, or aborted fetuses should use care and practice good sanitation. Whenever possible, wear disposable gloves before handling newborn puppies or cleaning an area where a dog has whelped. After removing disposable gloves, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and rinse thoroughly.

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