This article is from the Canine Medical Information FAQ, by Cindy Tittle Moore with numerous contributions by others.
Brucellosis is one of the few venereal diseases among dogs. It is
associated with testicular atrophy. It causes sterilization (sometime
obvious, sometimes not) in the male, embryonic reabsorption, abortion,
weak pups that die soon after birth and eventual sterility in females.
Males are contagious for months through their semen, females are
contagious for several weeks after the failed pregnancy.
_*Brucellosis may be passed to humans.*_ It can cause suppressed
immune systems and sterility in humans. However, brucellosis in this
form cannot be passed back to animals or other humans, as this disease
is not adapted to humans.
Diagnosis can be quickly made, although animals tested less than three
weeks after exposure will show negative. False positives are possible;
followup diagnosis with more reliable methods should follow any
Treatment for brucellosis is not generally very successful and often
very expensive. Extensive antibiotic therapy, evaluation and
additional testing will add up quickly, with no guarantee of success.
No vaccine is available.
Any animal with brucellosis should not be bred, and should be
eliminated from the kennel or other breeding stock before infecting
the entire colony. Animals entering the breeding area, male and
female, should be tested for brucellosis PRIOR TO breeding.