Brucellosis is considered to be highly contagious, and the bacteria that cause it can be spread between animals and humans not only by consuming uncooked or undercooked meat (obviously not a concern with pet dogs) but also through contact with any bodily fluids.
Despite the ability of the disease to infect both dogs and people, the symptoms it produces differ dramatically between canines and humans.
AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport, Inc., an animal rescue organization in De Soto, Iowa, has quarantined 32 dogs purchased at an auction from a breeder while they undergo testing.
"It means that we are not allowed to take in any stray dogs or cats, so Dallas County and anything west of here, there's no help for the animals at this moment which is really sad". The disease most often occurs in kennels and breeding facilities, the Des Moines Register reports.
While most pet owners are not likely to contract the disease, the department states that "dog breeders, veterinary staff and anyone who comes in contact with blood, tissues and fluids during the birthing process may be at higher risk and should consult their primary care physician". Infected dogs may appear to be healthy - especially if they've been treated recently with antibiotics - which can skew results and cause sick canines to test negative for the disease.
The disease can survive for months but can be eliminated with heat and disinfectants.
She added the dogs will remain under quarantine until they can be tested again, ensuring they aren't affected.
The dogs were tested Thursday night. "The disease can also return and may become chronic".
"Our goal is to get the dogs out of that lifestyle so that they don't have to continue to be bred over and over again until they die".
"We still have a lot of work ahead of us", Heinz said in the video.