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Our latest video raises awareness of Brucellosis Canis. Following the first confirmed dog-to-human case of Brucella Canis in the UK recently, we all need to be hypervigilant. Pregnant women and immune-compromised individuals are at the greatest risk. We need to protect ourselves, our teams, our clients and our patients. Client education is crucial, and has a big part to play in keeping everyone safe.  

That’s why our Brucellosis Canis video is so important.

  • What is Brucellosis? 

Brucellosis Canis is caused by the bacteria Brucella Canis. Importantly, it is zoonotic. It causes a variety of non-specific symptoms, mainly relating to the reproductive tract. 

  • What are the signs? 

Many cases are sub-clinical, highlighting the need for widespread client education. Your clients can’t (and won’t) call you for advice, or to arrange testing, if they aren’t well informed about the disease. This potentially puts your team at risk: for example if a client attends the surgery with a potentially infected dog without alerting you first.  

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In dogs the symptoms are variable and include abortion, orchitis, epididymitis, discospondylitis and uveitis. They may also show vague signs such as lethargy, weight loss and enlarged lymph nodes. 

In humans, there is often fever, lethargy and enlarged lymph nodes. The greatest concern in people is for pregnant women and those with immune compromise. 

  • How is Brucellosis transmitted? 

Brucella canis is highly contagious and is shed in all bodily secretions. The main transmission routes are via saliva, vaginal discharge and products of abortion.

PPE must be worn when handling suspected cases. Samples need to be packaged as directed by the laboratory, and sent to a laboratory prepared for receiving these high risk samples. 

  • How do I test for it? 

Serological testing has the highest sensitivity, meaning there is the least chance of false negatives. It will take 2 weeks and 3 months for antibodies to develop however, so repeat testing may be required. 

PCR tests have a higher rate of false negatives.  

Bacterial culture or PCR from products of abortion or birth can also be diagnostic. 

If your clients are considering importing dogs from high risk areas, or have recently adopted a dog from abroad, it’s important that they are aware of this potentially devastating disease. We need to educate them on the risks and the signs to watch for. We also need to be encouraging pre-import and post-import testing.  

Protect your team, your clients and your patients. View our video and start educating your clients today. Log in to your media library