Dog disease

Outbreak of disease that can be transmitted between humans and dogs.


Pictured in Iowa at the AHeinz57 rescue facility.

Alexis Cesarini, Staff Reporter

Brucellosis, also called Mediterranean fever, is an infectious bacterial disease that has a variety of symptoms. Its causes include ingestion of unpasteurized milk or exposure to raw meat. Working around infected animals can count as exposure, or even breathing the same air.

The disease is zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted between animals and humans. It has been deemed very rare in the United States but it is risky because it can cause inflammation and infection of other organs and regions of the body.

There recently was an outbreak of the disease in Marion County, Iowa, and the most heartbreaking part is that it was contracted from man’s best friend- puppies. It is typically uncommon to obtain such an infection from a dog, as opposed to cattle or other farming animals, but not impossible.

The outbreak was recognized when 32 puppies were bought by a dog rescue and transport company, AHeinz57 based in De Soto, from a breeding facility in Knoxville. Once the puppies were bought and the disease was recognized, there was a need to notify everyone who had come in contact with them.

Some of the recognizable symptoms in dogs include lethargic behavior, difficulty walking, and back pain. Pregnant dogs may experience complications with their pregnancies, like abortions or sick/weak newborns.

“People who work with animals or come into contact with infected blood are at higher risk,” according to This means that veterinarians or mill workers who had been involved in the birthing of the dogs must be on the lookout to see if they have contracted the disease.

The only action taken so far is that the breeding facility and its puppies have been quarantined and are being tested for infection. Dogs who test positive must be euthanized.