Des Moines, Iowa— Officials say a dog disease that can be passed to humans has been confirmed in Iowa. The state veterinarian, Dr. Jeff Kaisand, said several cases of caninebrucellosishave been confirmed at a commercial breeding facility for small dogs in Marion County.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said it is notifying people who have custody of the exposed dogs. Both the animals and the facilities are quarantined while the dogs undergo testing.
Signs of the disease in a dog include infertility, spontaneous abortions and stillbirths. State health officials say symptoms for humans include fever, sweats, headache, joint pain and weakness.
The department says the threat to most pet owners is very low. Dog breeders, veterinary staff and anyone who comes in contact with the animals’ blood, tissues and fluids during the birthing process may be at higher risk.
An animal rescue group in De Soto, Iowa, called AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport said it has quarantined 32 dogs purchased from a breeder in Knoxville that is going out of business.
“All of the dogs we purchased are being tested and currently quarantined at our facility with biosecurity measures in place to prevent any possible exposure to other dogs or people,” the organization said in a Facebook post. “We have not received any results yet.”
Person-to-person spread of brucellosis is extremely rare, the CDC says. If a person is infected, they can be treated with antibiotics, but in severe cases it may take weeks or months to recover.