Dog disease that can be passed to humans confirmed in Iowa

Little dog with owner spend a day at the park playing and having fun. Shutterstock  Branislav Nenin

The disease originated from a small dog-breeding facility in Marion County, Iowa, and both the animals and the building in question are now being quarantined while the pups undergo clinical testing.

However, some diseases can jump between dogs and humans, and one such illness was just confirmed in Iowa.

"We went on to notify all of the individuals that we know purchased dogs", Coppess says.

Humans can contract Brucellosis "when they are in contact with infected animals or animal products contaminated with the bacteria", according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If pet owners have recently acquired a new, small breed dog from Marion County, they should contact their veterinarian. This, since pet owners are far less likely to come in contact with saliva, blood and body fluids from an infected dog.

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Canine brucellosis is highly contagious among dogs and may cause catastrophic reproductive issues in the animals, including infertility, stillbirths and spontaneous abortions, according to the Iowa Department of Health. The Iowa Department of Health also warns against breeding dogs before testing for the disease. "Other signs can include inflammation of lymph nodes, behavioral abnormalities, lethargy, and weight loss".

Human infection from the disease is rare, the university said. "Arthritis (joint pain) and re-occurring fevers may occur with long term infection".

AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport, which is based in De Soto, wrote on Facebook Friday that they recently bought 32 dogs at an auction from a Knoxville, Iowa, breeder.

In the right conditions, canine brucellosis can survive for months. "Please pray for our sweet babies that were finally getting the chance to have a happy life", the organization wrote online. The disease, which can be spread through reproductive fluids, is believed to only infect dogs and humans. Young children and people with weakened immune systems are at particular risk for complications, and Iowa State University reports the disease could cause a woman to miscarry or give birth prematurely.

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