Iowa Officials Detect Bacterial Disease That Can Jump From Dogs to Humans

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Iowa state officials are warning the public about “canine brucellosis,” a bacterial disease that can spread from dogs to humans.

According to Iowa State Veterinarian Dr. Jeff Kaisan, there have been several confirmed cases of the disease at a commercial dog breeding facility in Marion County. The disease, which can be spread through reproductive fluids, is believed to only infect dogs and humans. 

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"We are in the process of notifying the individuals who have custody of the exposed dogs," a Friday news release from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship reads. "Both the animals and the facilities are quarantined while the dogs undergo clinical testing."

Symptoms of the disease in dogs include infertility, spontaneous abortions and stillbirths, while signs of the disease in humans include fever, sweats, joint pain and headaches.

According to Kaisand, anyone who recently became a dog owner in Marion County should get their pet tested. In addition, pet owners and anyone who frequently comes in contact with animals should wash their hands often. 

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"The threat to most pet owners is considered very low," the news release reads. "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."

On Friday, an animal adoption service based in De Soto, Iowa, reported that they recently purchased 32 dogs at an auction from a breeder. Another buyer that purchased dogs from the same breeder discovered that several of the animals had tested positive for canine brucellosis.

"All of the dogs we purchased are being tested and currently quarantined at our facility with biosecurity measures in place to prevent any possible exposure to other dogs or people. We have not received any results yet. Therefore, we have closed our shelter building for the next 30 days," the adoption service wrote in a Facebook post.

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