Dog disease found in Iowa that can infect people

Multiple cases of disease that can be transmitted from dogs to humans confirmed in Iowa

Multiple cases of disease that can be transmitted from dogs to humans confirmed in Iowa

Several dogs from a small-dog breeding facility in Iowa have been confirmed to have a disease that can be passed to people, according to state veterinarian Dr. Jeff Kaisand.

This disease is often spread through contact with infected birthing tissue and objects that have infected fluids on them.

It's unclear from the reports just how many dogs have been exposed to the disease, but the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship noted that it was taking steps to inform those who may be affected.

If pet owners have recently acquired a new, small breed dog from Marion County, they should contact their veterinarian.

"This serves as a reminder that is always important to practice good biosecurity, like thoroughly washing your hands after handling animals - even household pets", the release said. Infected dogs may appear to be healthy - especially if they've been treated recently with antibiotics - which can skew results and cause sick canines to test negative for the disease.

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The disease, which can be spread through reproductive fluids, is believed to only infect dogs and humans.

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. Dogs with inflamed lymph nodes, acting abnormally, losing weight, or are lethargic may be infected. In people, symptoms include fever, sweats, headache, joint pain and weakness, the state health department said.

CNN reported that AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport, Inc. has quarantined 32 dogs it had purchased at an auction while testing them for the disease.

In the right conditions, canine brucellosis can survive for months. "Therefore, we have closed our shelter building for the next 30 days", the adoption service wrote in a Facebook post.

"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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