Clinical investigation and management of Brucella suis seropositive dogs: A longitudinal case series

Catherine C. Kneipp, Ania T. Deutscher, Ronald Coilparampil, Anne Marie Rose, Jennifer Robson, Richard Malik, Mark A. Stevenson, Anke K. Wiethoelter, Siobhan M. Mor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Brucellosis in dogs caused by Brucella suis is an emerging zoonotic disease.
Objectives: To document clinical characteristics, serology, microbiology, and clinical response to treatment in B. suis-seropositive dogs.
Animals: Longitudinal study of 27 privately-owned dogs. Dogs that tested positive by serology, culture, or real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) were included in the study.
Methods: Clinical (physical examination and imaging) and laboratory (serology, hematology, serum biochemistry, and qPCR or culture) assessments were made at baseline and after approximately 3, 6, 12, and 18 months.
Results: Dogs were followed for 10 895 dog days, with 17/27 dogs completing the 18-month follow-up. Ten dogs had signs consistent with brucellosis before enrollment (n = 4), at baseline (n = 2) or during follow-up (n = 6), with 2 dogs experiencing relapse of historical signs. Antibody titers persisted for the duration of follow-up in 15/17 dogs (88%). Radiographic (n = 5) and ultrasound (n = 11) findings, of variable clinical relevance, were observed. Brucella DNA and organisms were detected in 3 dogs, all of which had clinical signs, including in the milk of a bitch around the time of whelping. Brucella DNA was not detected in blood (n = 92 samples), urine (n = 80), saliva (n = 95) or preputial swabs (n = 78) at any time during follow-up. Six dogs underwent treatment, all of which achieved clinical remission although remission was not reflected by decreasing antibody titers.
Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Most dogs with B. suis infections have subclinical infections. Serology is poorly associated with clinical disease. Excretion of organisms appears rare except in whelping bitches. Clinical management using antibiotics with or without surgery is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)980-991
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2023


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