Multiple Cases of Disease That Jumps From Dogs to Humans Confirmed in Iowa

Disease that can be transmitted from dogs to humans found in Iowa

The Iowa State Veterinarian has some bad news for Man's best friend after the department confirmed several cases of Canine Brucellosis in central Iowa.

"Brucellosis a zoonotic bacterial disease, meaning an infected animal can transmit it to humans and other animals through contaminated reproductive fluids," a statement from the state agency read. "The threat to most pet owners is considered very low. 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 disease reportedly originated within a small commercial breeding facility in Marion County, Iowa, the state's Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship said. The animals and the facility have been quarantined while the dogs are tested.

The department advised anyone who may have acquired a new, small breed dog from Marion Co. that they should contact their veterinarian. Human infections are rare and requires close contact with infected dogs.

"If pet owners have recently acquired a new, small breed dog from Marion Co., they should contact their veterinarian," the department said.

Brucellosis in dogs generally cause reproductive problems such as infertility. The disease can be spread from dogs to humans in multiple ways, including; through a cut or scratch in the skin, when people breath in contaminated air, or when they eat or drink something that has been contaminated with the bacteria. General symptoms of Brucellosis in humans are vague and are often compared to the flu. They can include:

  • Fever
  • Back pain
  • Body aches and pains
  • Poor appetite and weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Night sweats
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Coughing

Some cases can involve the nervous system, eyes or heart. Symptoms generally appear about five to thirty days after coming in contact with the bacteria.

AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport, Inc wrote on Facebook that they've been forced to quarantine 32 dogs that were purchased at an auction from a breeder while they undergo testing for the disease.

"With our mill dogs being under quarantine and additional supplies being used to safely care for them we are in need of some help!"



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