The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirms that two dogs in Wisconsin have tested positive for canine brucellosis. Due to exposure to the source of the infection, several animal shelters and private homes that adopted the exposed dogs have been placed under quarantine.
A national rescue organization imported a group of dogs from South Korea to Canada. Some of these dogs were then imported to Wisconsin with proper documentation. After the dogs were in Wisconsin, it was discovered that one of the dogs that had died in Canada tested positive for canine brucellosis. DATCP contacted the rescue organization who provided the names of the shelters where the dogs had been sent. DATCP learned that the majority of the dogs had been adopted, and notified adopters and shelters that still had the dogs that testing for canine brucellosis was needed. As a result of those tests, two were confirmed positive.
Quarantines are in place for locations that had exposed dogs and will be removed when test results are confirmed negative. The dogs must be tested at least two more times with 30-45 days between tests.
For the two dogs confirmed positive, one dog was euthanized and the other is under a life-long quarantine. Under this type of quarantine, an owner can only move the dog for veterinary care after informing the district state veterinarian.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine is organizing a separate quarantine facility for exposed dogs so that shelters can remove animals, clean and disinfect their facility, and return to operations. All shelters that removed animals will remain under quarantine until cleaning and disinfection are complete.
Veterinarians are the first line of defense for diagnosing, treating, and preventing this disease from spreading. If a client presents a dog exposed to canine brucellosis, it is important to ensure you are using basic biosecurity practices. More information about standard precautions are available from the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians at http://www.nasphv.org/documentsCompendiaVet.html.
Please continue to be aware of exposure to any diseases for animals you are treating and follow proper precautions and biosecurity. Learn more about the disease at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/CanineBrucellosis.aspx.
Animal shelters should follow proper biosecurity by isolating new animals in their facility for 30 days. While there is no vaccine to prevent canine brucellosis, shelters should only receive dogs that are known to be brucellosis-free. Newly acquired dogs should be tested, quarantined for 30 days, and re-tested before being introduced to the kennel.
Dogs testing negative will be released from quarantine. However, should the dog develop signs of illness later, adopters should make their veterinarian aware of the previous exposure to canine brucellosis. Based on the dog’s health and immune system, it could take months or years before the disease develops. A veterinarian will decide what symptoms may require further testing.
Public Health Impact
There is the potential for canine brucellosis to be transmitted to humans. More information is available from the Department of Health Services at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/brucellosis.htm.
If you have questions, contact:
Division of Animal Health