Having a sick dog can be a serious bummer. It hurts to see a pet in pain or any kind of discomfort, but normally a sick dog doesn’t pose a risk to your own health. However, some diseases can jump between dogs and humans, and one such illness was just confirmed in Iowa.
As NBC News reports, canine brucellosis was detected in what is being described as a “commercial breeding facility” in the state. The facility reportedly breeds small breed dogs in Marion County, located in the southern half of the state.
Despite the ability of the disease to infect both dogs and people, the symptoms it produces differ dramatically between canines and humans.
In humans, brucellosis can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever among other things. In dogs, many of the symptoms are related to the reproductive system, with an increased risk of stillbirths and miscarriages as well as infertility.
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.
It’s unclear from the reports just how many dogs have been exposed to the disease, but the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship noted that it was taking steps to inform those who may be affected.
“We are in the process of notifying the individuals who have custody of the exposed dogs,” the department explained in a press release. “Both the animals and the facilities are quarantined while the dogs undergo clinical testing.”