Brucellosis is often associated with large animals or dairy products. But there’s a canine form of the infection that’s not as well known.
Brucella canis bacteria only infect dogs and humans. In our pooch pals, brucellosis usually causes reproductive disease, including infertility and aborted pups. It’s a different story in people, where systemic symptoms, like fever and chills, prevail.
While it spreads readily among dogs, brucellosis isn’t often transmitted to people. But veterinarians and others exposed to breeding dogs or newborn pups are at much higher risk — as are folks with weakened immune systems.
Because canine brucellosis causes few systemic signs in dogs, it can be tough to detect. That’s why it’s always a good idea to wear disposable gloves when handling newborn pups or cleaning whelping areas.