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Canine Brucellosis Case~

Another beagle aborted two weeks prior. Although only one animal was initially confirmed to have B. canis, three other bitches, as well as two male dogs, were presumed to have B. canis based on clinical presentation and association with infected dogs.

The rural Lewis County kennel is owned by a woman who rescues and breeds dogs. The owner had over 100 dogs, an unknown number of cats, and several horses. Approximately 110 dogs from this kennel have now been tested for B. canis. Eighteen dogs initially tested positive, 15 of which were confirmed positive with B. canis. To date, 41 dogs on the premises (confirmed positives and probables based on exposures) have been humanely euthanized. The remaining dogs are scheduled to undergo their first follow-up testing in late June. The premises remains under the original 90-day WSDA quarantine, which means no dogs can be moved on or off the property.

The zoonotic potential is a concern, but not an alarm. There have been 30 cases reported worldwide, mostly in kennel workers, with very few in pet owners. People are relatively resistant to infection with B. canis, and the disease is relatively mild compared with infections caused by other Brucella. The exceptions are persons with immune compromising conditions and anyone unable to protect themselves from contact with urogential discharges from an infected dog, such as young children.

Infection with Brucella can cause intermittent and recurring fever, chills, malaise, and sweats. Joint and lower back-pain, headaches, depression, anorexia and fatigue are also common. In an infected person, clinical signs and symptoms of brucellosis will usually develop in 2-4 weeks following exposure, but exposed individuals should watch for signs of brucellosis for six months after exposure. People experiencing these symptoms are advised to contact their health care provider. Brucellosis is rarely fatal.

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