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Brucella canis policy

 

Background

Brucellosis is an infection caused by Brucella canis bacteria. Canine brucellosis is not a disease naturally found in the UK, but cases in the UK are on the rise, primarily due to import of European dogs. It is a zoonotic disease (meaning that humans can get it from contact with infected dogs) and is currently classified by DEFRA/APHA as a reportable disease and a public health concern.

Magnolia House Veterinary Clinic protocol for handling imported dogs and dogs infected with Brucella canis

Veterinary staff are at greater risk of contracting the disease from an infected dog than the dog’s owners are, so in order to protect the health of our team, we ask that all clients with dogs imported from Europe make an appointment for a blood test to be performed. The cost of the test is £50 including VAT (this actually includes 2 different tests as specified by APHA – no test is 100% accurate, so this increases the likelihood of a correct result). If you decline testing, we shall continue providing treatment to your dog but they will be handled in the same way as a positive dog would be (see details below).

If a positive dog is identified:
– we shall discuss euthanasia as advised by APHA, but completely respect your choice in the matter
– we shall NOT REFUSE veterinary care to a Brucella positive dog
– we strongly advise neutering ASAP if not already done
– we advise testing all other dogs in the household
– we’ll discuss your personal/household protection and containment of infection spread in more detail

Handling positive OR UNTESTED dogs within the clinic:
– we respect our team’s individual choices as to whether they wish to handle positive/untested dogs or not – depending on staff choices and availability, this may mean that appointment and surgery times we can offer are a bit less flexible
– positive/untested dogs are treated only within areas of the clinic which allow for bleach disinfection – this specifically excludes the reception/waiting area and consult rooms
– team members handling positive/untested dogs will be wearing PPE (gloves as a minimum)
– when hospitalised for the day, positive/untested dogs will be housed in the isolation ward (still just as comfy!) and not be in the same room as any other dog at any point
– longer periods of hospitalisation will need to be discussed/managed on a case by case basis