An infectious disease known to transfer from dogs to humans has been detected in several canines in Iowa, according to local health officials.
State veterinarian Dr. Jeff Kaisand announced that they have found cases of canine Brucellosis in dogs at a commercial breeding facility in Marion County.
The disease is caused by the Brucella canis bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the infection primarily affects dogs, it has been shown to transfer to humans as well.
Canine Brucellosis In Iowa
In a press release, Iowa's Agriculture and Land Stewardship Department said it is already in the process of notifying the people in charge of the animals about the situation. Both the dogs and the facilities will be quarantined while the infected canines undergo clinical testing.
The bacterial disease is described as "zoonotic", which refers to its ability to infect one type of animal to another especially through reproductive fluids.
"The threat to most pet owners is considered very low," the agency said.
"Dog breeders, veterinary staff and anyone who comes in contact with blood, tissues and fluids during the birthing process may be at higher risk and should consult their primary care physician."
The state's Public Health Department said canine Brucellosis is commonly found in kennels and dog breeding facilities.
Kaisand advised people who have recently acquired dogs from Marion County to have their pets tested for the infection. Those who have come in contact with affected animals should always keep their hands clean to prevent disease transmission.
On Friday, an animal adoption service based in De Soto, Iowa reportedly posted about canine Brucellosis on Facebook. AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport said a dog breeder in Knoxville, Iowa had pets that tested positive for the infection.
In the post, AHeinz57 said it had purchases 32 dogs at an auction. The animals are now being tested for potential canine Brucellosis. They have been placed in quarantine to keep the disease from infecting other dogs while the group awaits the test results.
AHeinz57 revealed that it will temporarily close its shelter building for the next 30 days.
"This is just one more reason to ADOPT and not SHOP! Please pray for our sweet babies that were finally getting the chance to have a happy life," the group wrote.
Signs And Symptoms Of Infection
Dogs affected by canine Brucellosis often suffer from infertility, stillbirths, and even spontaneous abortions, according to the public health department.
Meanwhile, humans who contract the infection go on to develop headache, weakness, heavy sweating, joint pains, and fever.
Some symptoms of Brucellosis in people may persist for longer periods, while others may reoccur or even be permanent.
These include recurrent fevers, arthritis, or chronic fatigue. 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).
In some Brucellosis cases, sufferers may develop depression or neurologic symptoms.
To treat the disease, doctors would often prescribe antibiotics. It may take a few weeks to several months for the infection to be cured, depending on severity of illness and the timing of treatment.
Brucellosis infection can result in death, though it is extremely rare.