Sexually Transmitted Disease)
is a major cause of canine infertility and may be the cause of
your breeding woes. Brucellosis is primarily a sexually transmitted
disease, but can be transmitted by contact with infected bodily
fluids and in some cases can be transmitted airborne. The disease
can be passed from dogs to humans but not person to person.
of the common misconceptions that I found amongst Bulldog breeders
is that Brucellosis is a disease that was a menace to breeders
of the past and that since most bulldogs are bred by Artificial
Insemination there is no cause for alarm. Just because the act
of copulation does not physically occur, does not mean that infected
semen from the stud cannot infect your bitch. Also transmission
can occur from fluids of an infected bitch during the AI process.
Then the unsuspecting breeder can transmit the disease to the
rest of his kennel. Bulldogs would seem to be at risk due to their
low slung anatomy and a show site can be especially dangerous.
is a bacterial infection caused by Brucella Canis. The disease
enters through the mucus membranes and spreads to the lymph nodes
and the spleen. It also spreads to the uterus, the placenta and
the prostate gland. The disease will not kill your dogs;
it can however render them genetically dead due to the reduced
fertility or sterility.
are the symptoms of Brucellosis?
Litters aborted - usually at 45-55 days of gestation. Pups may
be stillborn or die immediately at birth. Pups that are lost during
the embryonic stage are reabsorbed and give the appearance that
the bitch did not take. Decreased fertility may be the case
rather than abortion. Infected bitches that do whelp a live litter
can produce carriers of the disease.
Infertility based on abnormal sperm and poor sperm motility. There
can be inflammation of the prostate gland as well as swelling
of the testicles. In some cases there can be atrophy (shrinking)
of the testicles after the initial swelling occurs. Lesions
can also occur due to the dog licking the painful areas.
symptoms that may manifest themselves and are not gender related
disc disease (paralysis sometimes occurs), fever, hind limb weakness,
lethargy, decreased tolerances to exercise. Dry dull coats, swelling
of the lymph nodes, eye inflammation. Of course these can be symptomatic
of other diseases, so always consult your veterinarian for a proper
diagnosis. This can be a tough disease to diagnose and you may
have to request the test for Brucellosis.
tests are involved to detect Brucellosis?
is done through a blood sample. If your veterinarian uses an in-house
test kit and obtains a positive reading, the test should be ran
again to verify the results. There can be a high incident of false
positives with the in-house kits. It is best to have the tests
sent out to a competent laboratory for evaluation. The test is
disease can be very resistant to treatment. Treatment is usually
a combination of minocycline and streptomycin and is thought to
be the most effective albeit the most expensive. Tetracycline
can be substituted for the minocycline to reduce the cost, but
will lower the effectiveness of the treatment. All infected animals
should be considered carriers for life.
can contact this disease and symptoms are usually flu like. The
most prevalent form of transmission to humans is by handling aborted
pups. For this reason, if you should ever have a bitch that has
stillborn pups or aborts, all membranes, placentas, etc. should
be handled with gloves. Inhaling of airborne particles from feces,
urine, tissues (including stillborn and aborted fetuses) of infected
dogs can also result in transmission.
safe than sorry:
all the blood, sweat and tears that seems to accompany breeding
bulldogs. It seems that this relatively inexpensive test could
benefit breeders. If you bring one infected dog into your breeding
program you could possibly wipe out years of hard work in establishing
Contributed by Bulldog Club of Texas Newsletter (Leigh Meeks)