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Bacteria can cause miscarriages in dogs

Q I was reading about the causes of miscarriage in dogs and a bacteria called Brucella was mentioned. I had heard of it in cattle but not in dogs, is it common and is it dangerous?

A Brucella canis is a bacterium that is a leading cause of infertility in the dog. In bitches, the first symptom is often when a young healthy female suddenly aborts her litter, while in males with a chronic infection, it causes testicular atrophy.

This is a transmissible disease where intact bitches and dogs can be reservoirs of infection. It is spread at breeding and by ingestion, as well as by sniffing and licking, or from infected urine and milk.

Brucella can spread to people, particularly children, pregnant women and anyone with a suppressed immune system.

Because of this risk, dogs that are diagnosed with brucellosis infection should be euthanized and their living area thoroughly disinfected. Initial symptoms of this infection are vague and include fatigue, exercise intolerance, weight loss, poor hair coat and sometimes hind leg lameness.

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