Bacterial disease transmitted from dogs to humans confirmed at commercial breeding facility

Henrietta Brewer
May 14, 2019

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.

A small-dog commercial breeding facility in Marion County, Iowa, is the source of "multiple cases" of a canine disease that can be transmitted to humans, the state's agriculture department said. It is also recommended that dog owners who have "recently acquired a new, small breed dog from Marion County" contact a veterinarian and their own physician. "The bacteria can also be found in the milk, blood, and semen of infected dogs". Dogs with inflamed lymph nodes, acting abnormally, losing weight, or are lethargic may be infected.

Canine Brucellosis infections in humans, while "rare", are possible and "cause flu-like signs (fever, night sweats, headaches, back pain)". "Arthritis (joint pain) and re-occurring fevers may occur with long term infection". 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.

"We have not received any results yet", the organization said on Facebook.

AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport, Inc., an animal rescue organization in De Soto, Iowa, has quarantined 32 dogs purchased at an auction from a breeder while they undergo testing.

The disease can survive for months but can be eliminated with heat and disinfectants.

"This is just one more reason to ADOPT and not SHOP!"

"Canine brucellosis" affects only dogs and humans and is spread through reproductive fluids, said the Iowa Department of Public Health, USA Today reported.

"They spent their lives in these little tiny boxes breeding over and over and over, and to finally get out and get some freedom and have to die would be so tragic and bad", Heinz said.

"None of them were even suspect positive so that's a good thing because that would have meant 60 days more quarantined".

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