What Is Brucellosis in Dogs and What Are the Symptoms?

By MarĂ­a Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. December 13, 2020
What Is Brucellosis in Dogs and What Are the Symptoms?

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Brucellosis in dogs is a bacterial disease that can affect our dogs. This pathology is serious as it is capable of causing other health issues, such as sterility or abortion in our dog.

In this AnimalWised article we are going to explain what brucellosis in dogs is, as well as its symptoms and treatment. Lastly, we'll include how to prevent brucellosis in dogs. Keep reading to learn more!

What is canine brucellosis?

Canine brucellosis is a disease caused by a bacterium called Brucella canis that damages the reproductive system and can cause the dog to suffer from a spontaneous abortion, sterility, an infection in their reproductive system or develop a sexually transmitted disease.

It is also possible for male or female dogs to suffer from this disease and remain asymptomatic. In fact, this pathology doesn't affect females that suffer from it, and it is, unfortunately, very contagious among dogs. It's also important to point out that different species of Brucella will infect different species of animals, such as goats, cows, sheep, pigs and other animals.

Below we will explain the symptoms of brucellosis in dogs so you know what to look out for and when it's time to call your veterinarian to properly diagnose and treat your dog.

What Is Brucellosis in Dogs and What Are the Symptoms? - What is canine brucellosis?

Canine brucellosis symptoms

One of the most common symptoms of brucellosis in dogs is miscarriage. Pregnant dogs suffer from a spontaneous abortion, their unborn puppies are usually aborted about two weeks before the probable date of delivery, although they can also be born dead on date or be born alive but become ill and die. If this happens to your dog, brucellosis must be one of the pathologies your veterinarian must consider.

If the dog is suffering from an ongoing infection due to brucellosis, it's possible to detect enlarged lymph nodes, which are located in the groin or under the jaw. In males, their testicles can also become inflamed early in the disease, but as the disease progresses, they atrophy due to the destruction of sperm cells, resulting in reduction in size. Fever is not a common symptom.

Diagnosis can be determined via a blood test or an extraction from the abortifacient tissue. This test can also tell us if the dog has been infected at some point in their life. Your veterinarian will determine if your dog needs any other tests for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment of canine brucellosis

Once your dog has been properly diagnosed by the veterinarian, they will also determine the best treatment for them. This will probably include intramuscular and oral antibiotics for about three weeks. Unfortunately, this will not kill the bacteria in all infected dogs. For this reason, its eradication is considered difficult. This is why it is worth taking into account the prevention one can take to avoid having their dog suffer from this disease, we'll give you some recommendations on this in the section below.

It should be stated that sterilization of all affected animals is recommended because the disease can also be transmitted during mating, and as we've previously mentioned, it is highly contagious.

Prevention of canine brucellosis

Sterilize your dog

In acute infections, the bacteria will be in the blood, urine, secretions and abortifacient remains. In those that become chronic or remain inactive in the dog's body, bacteria can still be found and transmitted through semen or vaginal secretions, hence the importance of sterilization in dogs since the most common form of infection is precisely the it constitutes oral and nasal contact with these infected vaginal secretions.

Avoid large communities of dogs

A male with brucellosis can keep the bacteria in his body for his entire life. The urine of dogs with brucellosis is also a common source of contagion. This information must be taken into account especially in those dogs that live in large communities such as with breeders, where the infection can spread rapidly.

Be extra careful when getting a new dog

If you are buying a dog from a breeder, instead of adopting from an animal shelter, you will need to be extra careful. Make sure the parents were medically checked for any diseases. Dogs with brucellosis can carry this highly contagious infection for their entire life and, therefore, cannot be bred. It is also dangerous as breeders often have many dogs together at once and this can lead to infection. With that being said, if you are adopting from a shelter you should also make sure that the dog has been medically examined for any underlying diseases.

Keep up with regular check-ups

As some dogs are asymptomatic, it's best to keep up with regular check-ups at the veterinarian. This way your vet will be able to make sure your dog is healthy and not suffering from asymptomatic diseases. For example, when it comes to brucellosis, your veterinarian will be able to detect it with a simple blood test.

What Is Brucellosis in Dogs and What Are the Symptoms? - Prevention of canine brucellosis

Can I get brucellosis from my dog?

If your dog has been diagnosed with brucellosis, yes, you are at risk of getting infected as brucellosis is a zoonotic disease that can be transmitted between different species. Nevertheless, if your dog is getting treatment and you are careful to not touch their urine and feces, the possibility of infection is very low. Ask your veterinarian more about how to best handle the situation.

You may also be interested in watching our video about common symptoms that your dog is suffering from an underlying illness.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Is Brucellosis in Dogs and What Are the Symptoms?, we recommend you visit our Bacterial diseases category.

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