Canine Brucellosis Test Procedures

A canine brucellosis test can help to determine if the infection your dog is experiencing is caused by the Brucella canis bacteria. This infection is typically transmitted during breeding, as the infection normally spreads through the exchange of bodily fluids. This bacteria can be spread through secretions of the nose, eyes and mouth, as well as the genitals.

Brucellosis is a major contributor to reproductive failure and can cause other symptoms as well.

Symptoms of Brucellosis

A brucellosis test may be recommended if a dog is experiencing symptoms that point to the Brucella canis bacteria as a possible cause. This infection normally causes abortion in later stages of pregnancy, but can also lead to the inability to conceive. Male dogs may have abnormal semen quality, and all dogs affected may:

  • become lethargic
  • experience enlargement of the lymph nodes
  • have an inflammation of the eyes
  • show signs of premature aging

Testing for Brucellosis

A brucellosis test should be performed on all dogs that are intended for breeding. Since this infection is common in kennels, any new dogs brought in should also be tested to limit the risk of transmission. A simple blood test can be performed on any dog to determine whether or not it is carrying the infection. Costs for this test vary, but treatment options can be expensive.

Prevention of Canine Brucellosis

It's very important to participate in the prevention of spread of this infection, if you are a dog owner or the owner of a kennel. The best way to do this is to have a brucellosis test for all dogs, male and female, before breeding. In the rare event that pups do survive birth from one or both infected parents, it's possible they could become carriers of brucellosis. Treatment is also not guaranteed and does not often have a good prognosis.

Treatment for Brucellosis

If you have a dog that has tested positive for the brucellosis test, treatment will consist of several weeks of antibiotic therapy. The dog must be isolated from all other dogs during the treatment phase, and treatment is not recommended for dogs within a breeding kennel. Results are not guaranteed after treatment with antibiotics, as this infection is difficult to treat. Subsequently, all dogs have the potential to experience relapse, even after the initial antibiotic treatments seem to have been successful.

Spaying or neutering a dog can help to reduce the risk of transmission, but does not remove the bacteria from the body, so dogs that have been fixed are still carriers and can still spread the bacteria. For male dogs, treatment may be even more difficult due to the chronic infection that resides in the prostate gland and testicles. The best option for dogs in a breeding kennel is to remove them from the premises. For personal dog owners, it's recommended that you factor in all options and make the best decision regarding finances, prognosis and the well being of your dog.