The disease is rare in humans, and there is no evidence of any cases of human infection in Israel. • Examination by the Ministry of Agriculture's veterinary services identified only one infected dog and two other dogs that are suspected of contracting the disease
Following the results of laboratory tests, one Pomeranian purebred bitch was found to be infected with Brucella Canis, and two other dogs are suspected of being infected. In the meantime, concern was raised about infection of other purebred puppies. Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Health is calling on anyone who has purchased a purebred puppy of any kind over the past 6 months to bring the dog to a veterinarian for examination in order to rule out Brucella Canis contagion.
Brucella Canis is an animal disease that has to date never been documented in Israel. In dogs, the disease manifests itself in a lack of appetite, depression and muscle pain. The disease can also cause miscarriages in bitches. In very rare cases, the Brucella Canis bacteria can infect humans, causing fever and even complications.
About three weeks ago, the owner of a bitch who miscarried went to a clinic in Kiryat Shmona. The bitch is one of the six living in the same habitat, and was the second bitch to miscarry. As a result, the vet took blood tests and began to suspect that this was a case of Brucella Canis. The owner of the dogs was requested to urgently come to the clinic with the dogs for testing, at the instruction of the Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Agriculture. The dog owner did not comply and did not bring them in for examination. Consequently, the Galilee-Golan Bureau of Veterinary Services and the Ministry's Central Enforcement and Investigation Unit entered the habitat with a court order. When the officers arrived at the house, the Pomeranian dogs were found hidden in one of the warehouses, but in good condition and without any signs of mistreatment. The six dogs were confiscated and taken for examination. Serological tests found that one dog was infected with Brucella Canis, two other bitches were suspected of infection, and the remaining three were tested negative. The dogs are currently being held in quarantine pending a decision about continued treatment.
The suspect, who owns the dogs, was detained for questioning on suspicion of spreading animal disease. His interrogation revealed that the dogs were brought to Israel several months ago. When he realized that they were ill, he intended to return them to the seller.
Due to the incident, the Ministry of Agriculture and Health recommends that puppy owners who have purchased a purebred dog over the past 6 months check their dogs to make sure they are not infected with Brucella Canis.