Brucella canis is an uncommon bacterial strain that can cause incurable infections in dogs. It is transmitted through mating or contact with infected fluids, resulting in brucellosis, leading to infertility, pregnancy complications, genital, and musculoskeletal issues in dogs. While it can infect humans, such cases are exceedingly rare.
How do dogs get Brucella canis?
Brucella canis can be transmitted through:
– Mating with an infected dog
– Contact with vaginal fluid, semen, pro-oestral blood, and afterbirth
– Transmission from mother to puppies during pregnancy and through milk
– Contact with infected blood
– Exposure to infected faeces, urine, saliva, and nasal discharge (lower risk due to lower bacteria concentration)
– Prolonged exposure to infected dogs or contaminated body fluids increases infection likelihood.
What are the symptoms of Brucella canis?
Brucella Canis symptoms in dogs:
– Varied symptoms, making diagnosis difficult
– Common signs: fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, increased desire to exercise or play
– Infected females may face pregnancy complications like infertility, sudden abortions, and stillbirths
– Male dogs can develop testicular infections and abscesses
– Some infected dogs show no visible symptoms, adding to diagnostic challenges.
Can Brucella canis be treated?
– Unfortunately there is no guaranteed cures; lifelong infection
– Even asymptomatic dogs can transmit the bacteria
– Neutering reduces transmission risk
– Antibiotics safeguard veterinary staff, but not a treatment for dogs
– Infected dogs must be isolated from other dogs and dog-populated areas indefinitely.
Can humans get Brucella canis?
Human infections with Brucella canis are extremely uncommon, with elevated risk for those exposed to infected bodily fluids, such as dog breeders involved in birthing or cleaning whelping areas, veterinarians, vet nurses, and lab staff. Individuals with weakened immune systems, like young children, pregnant women, or those immunocompromised, face a higher susceptibility.