Brucellosis in dogs is a venereal disease in dogs that occurs most often in kenneled dogs, affects both females as well as males, and is believed to affect as high as ten percent of all dogs.
It is a killer of unborn litters and is also extremely contagious to humans.
If transmitted to humans it can cause serious liver damage as well as arthritis.
Brucellosis is so serious that in some states the Health departments can demand that the dog, or dogs if it is determined to be both that are infected, be immediately put down.
It can cause litters to be aborted.
If the puppies are actually born with this infection, they will die shorting after birth for no apparent reason.
It can also be a hidden disease and your dog may show absolutely no signs or symptoms at all as it are that dangerous.
And making it even more dangerous is that there, even as long as it has been diagnosed, is no current effective treatment for this disease.
Brucellosis in dogs is a disease that is caused by gram-negative proteo-bacteria that is referred to as Brucella canis.
Gram negative bacteria are pathogenic which means that it is capable of causes a disease in the host organism, in this case your dog.
It is a disease that is sexually transmitted by the mating of an infected male or female.
However, females can also spread this disease by other dogs coming into contact with her urine, the aborted fetuses, or by sexual breeding.
Females are almost always the carrier of this organism but will very seldom ever demonstrate any type of symptoms.
Because of this owners will have no idea until the either the unborn fetuses are aborted or the puppies die.
Infected males may show symptoms if they are severally infected, but it is very difficult to spot. In male dogs, these bacteria will live and grow inside of the dog's testicles as well as their seminal fluids.
They may start to scratch at their testicles, but not always.
The only real visible sign will be evenness in the size of your male's testicles, but this is very, very difficult to actually see.
Male dogs may cause lesions to appear on their testicles which are very uncommon, even with several types of bacterial skin infections.
If you do suspect lesions in this area, it is most likely this infection.
Both females and males may show slight signs of swollen lymph nodes but again it will be very hard to actually identify this.
If it is identified, it is very easily confused with several diseases that will show swollen lymph nodes as symptoms.
However, there is one symptom that you may be able to identify and that is a male dog not wanting to mate, which is extremely unusual.
The reason is that the sexual organs are inflamed and it is very painful for your dog to even attempt to mate.
There will be several possible results of Brucellosis in dogs and none of them will be good for your pet.
This disease will not kill your dog, but it does kill them genetically meaning that it will be unsafe to breed them ever again.
They may be some people that will tell you there dog have been cured, but there is no known effective cure that has proven effective.
The most common result from this disease is that the litter will be aborted, generally in the last two weeks of gestation.
The gestation period for dogs is 65 days, and gestation is carrying of the fetus inside the animal.
Most, but not cases of this disease will cause the litter to be aborted between 45 and 55 day.
If this does happen, you should immediately look for this disease to be the cause.
There will be some very distinctive symptoms in the aborted litter that you can watch for.
The aborted fetus will usually have a gray or a green color in the discharge.
However, the real sign will be that the fetuses are decaying as this bacterium has destroyed them.
But there is another very troubling aspect to Brucellosis in dogs.
If the embryos die very early in the gestation process, they may be absorbed back into the female.
When this occurs, there will never be any sign or indications that she was ever pregnant.
This disease is very serious and should treated that way, as bringing even one dog into a breeding program could literally wipe out years of work in breeding practices.
If you have entire litters of puppies that suddenly die for no apparent reason should, this should be the first cause that you should check for.
Because of the risk to humans, handling the stillborn fetus, dead puppies, as well as any membranes or placentas should be handled very carefully.
Protective gloves should be worn for protection and then discarded, and the infected areas should be disinfected immediately.
Testing for Brucellosis in dogs is very simple and is usually very accurate. Your veterinarian will run a series of blood tests and if the results are positive, they will test for it again.
The reason is that several states may require that the infected dog be immediately put down. Testing for this disease is the only sure method of accurate identification.
There is no current reliable method of treating this disease.
There are some very expensive antibiotics that have shown moderate success, but it requires multiple antibiotics and has proven to be only partially successful at temporarily reducing this vicious bacteria.
A complete cure for this disease is very unlikely and even attempting it can become very expensive.
If your dog is not required to be put down, you should immediately have them spayed or neutered.
The only real method of preventing Brucellosis in dogs is to place any incoming dogs into a breeding program in isolation for at least two to three weeks.
During this time and have them tested by your veterinarian.
The money spent on the testing may save thousands of dollars over the long run if even one breeding dog becomes infected.