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Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

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Test Your Canine Brucellosis (Brucella canis) IQ!

TRUE or FALSE

1. In the bitch, the more common clinical signs of canine brucellosis (caused by B. canis) are; abortions in the last trimester; stillbirths; or “silent abortions” (infertility). 

Answer:
TRUE: A properly timed breeding of an un-tested pair that failed to produce any puppies would be suspicious of canine brucellosis.

 

2. In the male, the main lesions of canine brucellosis are epididymitis, orchitis, prostatitis, and/or generalized lymphadenitis. 

Answer:
TRUE: However some males are completely normal on physical examination.  

 

3. While canine Brucellosis is considered a “sexually transmitted disease”, animals can and do become infected without copulation. 

Answer:
TRUE: B. canis infections occur by oral ingestion; through genital membranes; through nasal membranes; through ocular membranes; through broken skin; or by contaminated AI syringes. 

 

4. Puppies can be infected with B. canis in utero, from the mother’s vaginal discharge, or her milk, and the pup may remain persistently infected even though they appear clinically normal. 

Answer:
TRUE: Just because the bitch produces a healthy litter of puppies does not indicate she is free of B. canis

 

5. A male dog infected with B. canis will only shed the organism in his semen and only for several weeks following infection.

Answer:
FALSE: B. canis can also be shed in the dog’s urine, saliva, nasal secretions, oral secretions, and in their feces. The B. canis organism can intermittently shed in the semen for years!  

 

6. Unless a pair of dogs have been previously bred, a virgin pair do not need to be tested prior to their first breeding. 

Answer:
FALSE: Since an infection can also occur via the oral or the venereal route, the possibility exists that one or both partners are already infected, so to be safe, ALL potential breeding pairs should be tested prior to each breeding period. 

 

7. In the US there are at least 8 different canine brucellosis diagnostic tests available.  The selection of the particular test requested will depend on; 1. the sensitivity of that test; 2. the specificity of that test; 3. and earliest time post-infection for that test to detect an infection.

Answer:
TRUE: KSVDL currently offers 3 canine brucellosis tests; two antigen tests (Culture and PCR) and one antibody test (TAT). 

 

8. While there are a various canine brucellosis treatments listed in the veterinary literature, most canine brucellosis experts still consider an animal “infected for life”.

Answer:
TRUE: Unfortunately, there is no diagnostic test that will absolutely confirm that a dog is completely free of B. canis. Nor is there a test that can accurately predict if or when that dog will shed the organism in the future. 

 

9. Canine brucellosis is a zoonotic disease.

Answer:
TRUE: For more information see The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). http://www.cdc.gov/brucellosis/veterinarians/index.html

 

10. Canine brucellosis is a “reportable disease” in many states including Kansas.

Answer:
TRUE: In those reportable states, any suspect or confirmed case should be immediately reported to that state’s animal health department. 

Canine and Feline Core Vaccine Titer Screening
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