Dog disease that can be passed to humans confirmed

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Jeff Kaisan, there have been several confirmed cases of the disease at a commercial dog breeding facility in Marion County.

"Multiple cases" of a bacterial disease that can be spread from dogs to humans have been confirmed in Iowa, according to health officials.

"We are in the process of notifying the individuals who have custody of the exposed dogs", read a statement from Keely Coppess, a spokesperson for the state's Agriculture Department. It can also be transferred to human beings if people come in contact with animal tissue, blood, urine, vaginal excretions, aborted fetuses, or placentas from infected dogs.

The department says the threat to most pet owners is very low.

Following confirmation of the disease's spread from state health officials, authorities warned those who'd "recently acquired a new, small breed dog" from Marion County to call their veterinarian, Fox News reported Monday. "The disease can also return and may become chronic".

Heinz said someone contacted them about the auction and said this particular commercial breeder was closing and would have some of the older dogs up for adoption, which is why they chose to attend.

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Signs of the disease in a dog include infertility, spontaneous abortions and stillbirths. Dogs with inflamed lymph nodes, acting abnormally, losing weight, or are lethargic may be infected.

Despite the ability of the disease to infect both dogs and people, the symptoms it produces differ dramatically between canines and humans. "We have asked that all of those dogs undergo canine brucellosis testing".

"That's why if we do have a positive dog, it has to be put down", Amy Heinz, founder and executive director of Iowa-based AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport, said in an interview.

"This is just one more reason to ADOPT and not SHOP!"

Canine brucellosis can cause reproductive failure in dogs and can be passed to humans through "direct contact or aerosol exposure to infected animal fluids", according to a fact sheet from Iowa State University. "Please pray for our sweet babies that were finally getting the chance to have a happy life", the organization wrote online.

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