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

The infected dogs purchased by the AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport

"Multiple cases" of a bacterial disease that can be spread from dogs to humans have been confirmed in Iowa, according to health officials.

State veterinarian Dr. Jeff Kaisand announced that they have found cases of canine Brucellosis in dogs at a commercial breeding facility in Marion County.

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. All animals in contact with the infected dogs have been quarantined and are being tested for the infection say the sources.

Dogs that catch the disease may show symptoms including reproductive problems (abortions, stillbirth, infertility) as well as behavioral abnormalities, lethargy and weight loss.

Meanwhile, humans who contract the infection go on to develop headache, weakness, heavy sweating, joint pains, and fever.

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

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They also advised anyone who recently bought a small breed dog from Marion County to check in with their pet's veterinarian.

AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport Inc.is an animal rescue organization at De Soto, Iowa. Another buyer that purchased dogs from the same breeder discovered that several of the animals had tested positive for canine brucellosis. "We also issued quarantines to make sure that we stop the spread of the disease", Kaisand said. Pregnant women, young children and elderly with a weak immunity are also at risk of getting this infection, they explain. She says the case serves as a reminder of how it's always important to practice good biosecurity, like thoroughly washing your hands after handling animals, even household pets.

Despite the ability of the disease to infect both dogs and people, the symptoms it produces differ dramatically between canines and humans. The animals are now being tested for potential canine Brucellosis.

Heinz said they had to quarantine their adoption building for an additional 30 days.

As for the dogs in Iowa's dog shelters, each of them - infected or not - have been placed in quarantine till they pose a risk to others or themselves. "Please pray for our sweet babies that were finally getting the chance to have a happy life", the organization wrote online.

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