I guess we’re not the only ones dealing with Brucella canis issues lately. In February, we were dealing with B. canis in dogs imported into Ontario from South Korea. Currently, we’re dealing with a larger issue in commercial dog breeding facilities in Ontario.

Imported Brucella canis also appears to be an issue in the US at the moment.  Two dogs from South Korea that went to Wisconsin were recently diagnosed with brucellosis. They originated from a larger shipment of dogs from South Korea, and I have to wonder whether they’re from the same batch that came to Canada in February in which we found infected dogs (maybe they were even tested in response to what we found). Regardless, the imported dogs and the dogs that were exposed to them (a total of ~100 dogs) are under quarantine at the moment. Owners of dogs from the exposed group that have already been adopted are being contacted by state public health officers to instruct them to quarantine (and presumably test) the dogs.

The article was picked up by ProMedMail, with the following moderator comments:

“The lax import regulations of rescue animals coming into the USA is on the verge of a serious problem. The USA has quarantine facilities at ports for cattle, horses and other livestock. It needs to be expanded to include dogs and likely other animals. Imported rescue dogs especially need to have their vaccinations for prevention of rabies, distemper, parvo virus and other diseases. While being held at a facility, they should be checked for other diseases such as canine influenza and zoonotic diseases such as brucellosis.

Rescue animals from other countries need to be quarantined, not put in foster homes where there could be exposure to other animals or immunosuppressed individuals until some of these vaccines and testing have been performed. These quarantine facilities should be inspected by knowledgeable individuals according to law.”

Great in theory but it’s never going to happen. All we can realistically do is educate to improve importation practices to reduce the risks, but the risk will never be eliminated completely so long as dogs are crossing the border.