Brucellosis in dogs

What is brucellosis?
Brucellosis is an acute or chronic contagious zoonotic disease transmitted from animals to humans. It is also known as Bang’s disease, Contagious abortion, Undulant fever, Malta fever, Mediterranean fever. Brucellosis is found in almost all the countries of the world. Brucellosis in dogs is caused by Brucella abortus and Brucella canis which are non- motile, non-sporing, small gram negative rods or coccobacilli. Occasionally dogs become infected with Brucella abortus , B suis , or B melitensis.

Which dogs are highly susceptible to brucellosis?
Dogs highly susceptible to brucellosis are closely confined dogs, especially at the time of breeding or when abortions occur. Both male and female are equally susceptible.

How is brucellosis transmitted?
Brucellosis is transmitted through breeding or oral contact with infective discharges like aborted foetus, discharges from genitalia placentas, semen or urine of infected dog. Fomites such as grooming kit, bedding's etc and insects, ticks, and rodents also carry the infected material within the kennel. Transmission occurs via ingestion of contaminated materials. Secretions from male dogs also transmits brucellosis.

What are the signs and symptoms of brucellosis in dogs?
Abortion, still births in pregnant dogs and failure to conceive after breeding in non pregnant dogs are seen in case of dogs suffering from brucellosis. Abortion occurs during the last trimester of pregnancy usually between the 7th and 9th weeks of gestation. Following abortion brownish mucoid odorous discharge are expelled from genitalia. In male dog there is swelling and inflammation of scrotum, infection of skin over the scrotum, inflammation of testicles, prostatitis. Male dogs usually become sterile. Eye inflammation and infection of spinal discs (diskospondylitis) which can cause back pain and rear leg weakness or even paralysis may be seen in both male and female.

How is brucellosis diagnosed in dogs?
Diagnosis of bucellosis is based on clinical signs like abortion of puppies, brownish mucoid odorous discharge and also on laboratory tests which includes isolation of organism, animal pathogenecity test and tests for presence of antibodies like Rose Bengal plate test, Complement fixation test, Milk ring test, Vaginal mucus test, ELISA test, Blood agglutination test, Rivanol and Mercaptoethanol test.

How is brucellosis treated in dogs?
There is no reliable treatment for Brucellosis. A combination of minocycline and streptomycin is thought to be most effective. Tetracycine-Streptomycin combination has also been suggested following tetracycline or ampicillin.

In what way to prevent and control brucellosis in dogs?
(a) Identification and isolation of infected dogs from healthy ones
(b) Disinfect kennel with Quaternary ammomium (like Roccal Rx), iodophor (Betadine Rx)
(c) Hygenic disposal of foetal membranes, foetus and uterine discharges
(d) Always test dogs for Brucella canis before breeding.

In what way to prevent and control brucellosis in man?
(a) Wash hands with antiseptic soap if you come in contact with uterine discharges,
foetal membranes, foetus
(b) Wear disposable gloves while handling new born pups
(c) Wash your hands with antiseptic soap after handling new born pups
Immunocompromised persons (HIV-infected individuals, cancer patients, or transplantation patients) should not be allowed to handle dogs suffering from brucellosis and also one should not consume unpasteurized milk, cheese, or ice cream.

Can man get brucellosis from dogs?
Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease and man can get brucellosis from dogs but the case appears to be rare.

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