Brucellosis is a serious pet health condition that affects mainly dogs; however, it can develop in humans and various farm animals as well. This is a bacterial disease and is often referred to as Mediterranean Fever. While this condition can occur among pets found most anywhere, it is more commonly seen in Central and South America, Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean.
How Brucellosis Affects Your Pet
A brucella bacterium enters your dog's body through various mucous membranes and then quickly spreads to the genitals, lymphatic system, eyes, kidneys and intervertebral discs. This can occur when animals mate, when puppies nurse, in-utero or if an animal is exposed to an aborted fetus that has been infected with the disease. Brucellosis can cause many different health problems in canines including sterility, abortions or stillbirths, chronic pain and infections of sexual organs. In some cases, it can also cause damage to your pet's kidneys and nervous system. Since brucellosis is easily spread when animals mate, the condition can become a serious problem in breeding kennels and farms. Additionally, humans can develop brucellosis if they handle infected fetuses or come in contact with infected body fluids from their pets. As stated above, brucellosis can occur in farm animals as well. What this means is that the disease can also spread to humans if they consume infected meat or dairy products.
Common Symptoms of Brucellosis
Brucellosis can be difficult to notice in many animals unless they are bred. Some do exhibit a few tell-tale symptoms of the disease though. The signs that your pet may display will vary depending on its gender and what organs have been affected. However, the following symptoms are some of the most common signs of brucellosis in dogs: Swollen Lymph Nodes, Lethargy, Fever, Infections of the Genitalia, Abortions or Stillbirths, Infertility, Chronic Pain When Mating, Kidney Infections and Nervous System Disorders.
Treatments for Brucellosis
Unfortunately, there are presently no cures for brucellosis, and the only cure is prevention. It is a good idea to have your dog tested for brucellosis regularly, especially if you notice any of the above symptoms or desire to breed your pet. If it tests positive for the disease, sterilization is recommended. When brucellosis causes secondary infections, various medications may be prescribed including antibiotics, tetracycline, minocycline and streptomycin. It is essential to note that even if your dog is treated, it can be a life-long carrier of the disease. Additionally, breeders should always wear gloves and take precautions when handling infected animals, aborted puppies and bodily fluids.
Dogs, especially those in breeding programs, are capable of developing brucellosis.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.