Brucellosis in dogs is a contagious infectious disease of the reproductive organ which may cause abortion in females, infection of the sexual organ in males, and infertility in both sexes. The condition is caused by a bacteria, of which several types infect, especially cows, goats, sheep, horses, and dogs. Though have been isolated incidences of dogs becoming infected contact with livestock infected with one of the other species of Brucella bacteria that infect dogs, especially is called Brucella canis.
Transmission of Brucellosis in Dogs
Brucellosis is spread by direct contact with the semen or vaginal content of an infected bitch or dog (most commonly during mating), by contact with mammary secretions and aborted puppies. It can also passively be spread by contamination with urine or other body fluids. It can be zoonosis to humans, in whom it causes flu-like symptoms. B. canis can localize in non-reproductive tissues such as intervertebral disc is responsible for the clinical manifestations of B. canis, e.g., diskospodylitis.
Clinical signs of Canine Brucellosis
The clinical signs are different in male and female dogs. There are few common signs in both sexes. The most common clinical signs are given below:
- Abortion of puppies, usually between 45-55 days after insemination or breeding, litters with some puppies born dead or stillbirth, and pups that die at the embryo stage and are reabsorbed.
- Failure of conception is commonly reported in dogs with Brucella canis infection.
- Subcutaneous edema, congestion, and hemorrhage are reported in dead puppies. A brown or greenish-gray vaginal discharge may persist for up to six weeks following the abortion.
- Inflammation of the testicles, epididymis, prostate, lack of fertility because of defective sperm and poor sperm movement, and reluctance to breed due to pain caused by inflammation of the sex organs; males lick the painful areas and may lead to lesions.
- It shows swollen lymph nodes, non-specific signs of poor health, such as poor vigor. In rare cases, the diseases can cause damage to the kidneys and nervous system.
- Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the diseases is its insidiousness; the above signs are not always seen- in many cases, an infected dog may remain unnoticed about the presence of infections.
- Diseased bitches will usually breed and have regular heat cycles. Infected bitch may be bred subsequently after infection for the first time. The danger in this that such a bitch can be served as a carrier of the disease to other dogs and vertical transmission to its pups.
Diagnosis Brucellosis in Dogs
The diagnosis of Brucellosis in dogs is based on characteristic clinical signs. A variety of serologic tests can be performed to rule a diagnosis in or out: 2-mercaptoethanol rapid slide agglutination test (ME-RSAT); the tube agglutination test(TAT); the agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test; indirect fluorescent antibody (FA) test; B.canis may be isolated from whole blood culture.
Among male dogs, clinical signs of Brucellosis are not likely to be apparent. Among females, vaginitis and often pyometra should be found. Dogs occasionally will present with acute neurologic signs consistent with intervertebral disc disease or diskospondylitis.
Treatment of Canine Brucellosis
Treatment of Brucellosis is minimal due to the intracellular nature of the organism and public health importance. However, Brucella organisms are sensitive to streptomycin, aureomycin, and chloramphenicol, and they are also moderately susceptible to penicillin. It can be used to help control the infection. There is no available treatment to eliminate the organism completely.
Prevention of Brucellosis in Dogs
The best way of prevention of brucellosis in dogs is the early diagnosis of the disease in susceptible dogs or bitches. The easiest method of diagnosis is the rapid serological test. The diagnosed dog must be culled or spayed by surgical means. You must not be bred your bitch with a known positive dog.
Final Advice on Brucellosis in Dogs
Brucellosis is a common deadly disease in dogs of all breeds. The disease is called deadly because of the silent presence within the dogs. The male dogs are served as the carrier of the organism in their semen and seminal fluids without showing visible signs. The male breeding dog can infect hundreds of females without your notice. As a dog owner, you must test for the presence of the disease at regular intervals.