Dog disease that can be passed to humans confirmed in Iowa

Maricruz Casares
May 14, 2019

Both the animals and the facilities are quarantined while the dogs undergo testing.

Iowa officials say a dog breeding facility in the central part of the state has been linked to canine brucellosis - a zoonotic disease that can be transferred to humans.

Iowa State University recommended disinfecting areas that have been exposed to an infected dog and keeping sick animals away from healthy ones to prevent the spread of the disease.

According to a fact sheet released by the Iowa State University, the disease is spread through direct contact or exposure to infected animal fluids or by ingesting the bacteria.

While the threat to pet owners is 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 physician", the department said.

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Iowa Department of Agriculture officials said it's always important to practice good biosecurity, such as thoroughly washing your hands after handling animals. "Other signs can include inflammation of lymph nodes, behavioral abnormalities, lethargy, and weight loss". "Arthritis (joint pain) and re-occurring fevers may occur with long term infection". It requires close contact with infected dogs.

In the right conditions, canine brucellosis can survive for months.

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. The illness is exactly what it sounds like-a disease that typically affects dogs, but can be transmitted to humans in rare cases. "Therefore, we have closed our shelter building for the next 30 days". "Please pray for our sweet babies that were finally getting the chance to have a happy life", the organization wrote online.

"Persons with a weakened immune system due to disease or medication, young children, and pregnant women are likely at greater risk of developing more severe symptoms if they are exposed", the Department said in a notice.

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