Another foreign rescue infected with Brucella canis

Redders

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Because I am not at work today, I don’t know exactly how much we charge, but it won’t be extortionate, and my point is even if it is more, it’s not necessarily extortionate - it’s against industry law for vets to discuss what they charge with each other because it can be seen as price fixing, but the reality is, if a vet wants to charge £300 for the test, for whatever reason, they are allowed to and if an owner isn’t happy they are free to move to a practice who charges prices they consider fair, they don’t have to stay with that vet.
even sending emails out takes a lot of time - we don’t automatically have a button to find every foreign rescue owner. Then it would generate the work of not only doing the tests - which is fine and great and what we want to do - but also the replies and angry phone calls of owners not being happy about it, us being money grabbing, give me more information before I proceed, does insurance cover it, is it free, I don’t want to put my dog down if he has it why should I etc etc etc, I want to speak to the vet directly because I might get them to change the rules etc. It also means we have to spend time writing a policy to back up the email, which involves research and careful wording.
This issue has landed on the doorstep of vets because of irresponsible rescues and irresponsible adopters - if people did their research they would go with a rescue who does test, or demand a negative result prior to adoption. It’s the same with other exotic diseases - it costs a lot of money to treat some of them, and owners aren’t prepared for that and then the vet becomes the bad guy for charging money to use their hard learned skills to diagnose and treat the animal.
People need to do their research BEFORE they buy/adopt. End of in my opinion. That applies to literally any animal, from anywhere. I am sick of hearing ‘oh I didn’t know that’ while an animal is suffering greatly in front of me. It is a privilege to own and care for an animal, not a right. It is the owners responsibility to know that individual animals needs and any risks they might pose. Not mine. And I’m not money grabbing for charging for my skills.
 

splashgirl45

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Agree, the owners need to do their homework before taking on a foreign dog. Part of the trouble is these people have no idea about these diseases , all they see is an animal in need and the bent rescues are happy to take their money.. I think it would be a good idea for the government to put out a warning and make sure it is shown on tv like the aids info did.
 

skinnydipper

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As all AAD forum members are responsible people with a conscience they will, on reading this thread, immediately contact their vet and arrange the necessary testing for their dog. They will, after all, want to put their mind at rest that their own dog is not infected and as a dog lover they will not wish to risk infecting anyone else's dog.

The dog needs to be tested following importation whether or not it was tested prior to being imported.
 

Dobiegirl

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After receiving the initial email asking me to bring my dog in for testing I sent my vets a list of questions prior to my appointment, this is their reply. Thank you for your response and interest. We are currently working out an FAQ and will use some of the topics you raise as I suspect they will be on a lot of pet owner’s minds.
I have highlighted my responses to your questions and added 2 links at the bottom to the appropriate government statements.

1/ APHA are advising people to get their dogs blood tested before importing so does that mean if a negative test dogs will not require any further testing for this or will they require testing on a yearly basis. Also, APHA make it compulsory for all dogs coming in from abroad be tested at source before import.
A – Our current policy (which we have had agreed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)) is that any pet who has travelled outside the UK will need testing after returning to the UK before we can carry out treatment or diagnostics. This means that testing will have to occur again if your pet travels following any Brucella test. It can take up to 3 months for the patient to develop antibodies following infection so pre-import testing will not eliminate the need for testing in the UK. APHA can make recommendations to DEFRA but any change to the current import rules would require a change of law, which would have to be proposed and discussed in Parliament. We strongly recommend that pre-import testing is undertaken for a variety of diseases that are not currently endemic in the UK. The chances of a neutered pet dog travelling on holiday to a low-risk country being exposed to Brucella is thought to be low, however Vets and Veterinary Laboratory staff are at highest risk of exposure due to handling of potentially infectious body tissues/fluids.

2/ If Zara tests positive with no symptoms does this mean I will be advised to have her pts or will you no longer be prepared to treat her; she is spayed so obviously will not be bred from.
A – APHA will inform UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) of any positive cases. UKHSA will investigate those individual cases and make recommendations according to risk. It is likely that euthanasia will be advised although as Canine Brucellosis is not currently a Notifiable condition there is not an associated compulsory destruction order.
The Small Animal Hospital has inadvertently treated patients that have subsequently been discovered to have Brucella. This has involved investigations by PHE and HSE and we have been required to implement this protocol to minimise the risk to our staff.

3/ Everything I've read has mentioned the dog to human transmission, but I can find no evidence of any cases, if you do know this to be fact can you please forward me the link so I can check this out for myself.
A – Cases of human infection with Brucella Canis are rare but likely underreported as most testing in people is for other types of Brucella and can therefore miss cases of Brucella Canis. This is a disease of emerging importance and understanding.


4/ I've been speaking to other rescues asking them if they have had similar letters from their vets and they have all replied no this was the first time they knew of this now that I've mentioned it. I realise you have had a case so can see why you are being pro-active but would like to know if other vets will be doing the same and it will become compulsory within vet practices.
A – Langford Vets has been in close consultation with APHA, UKHSA and HSE following some cases treated at the hospital that unknowingly put our staff at risk. Following these consultations our policies were reviewed and agreed by HSE as appropriate to protect our staff from significant risk. Until practices have had a case and are involved with the government agencies, they will not be aware of the risks. Langford Vets has been in communication with other university hospitals, local practices etc and this is an emerging and evolving topic. We expect these types of policy to become more widespread as awareness increases. Most veterinary laboratories require a travel history and samples are handled only after either screening tests or using Category 3 laboratory conditions.
https://bvajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/do/10.1002/vetr.00100013

Further information can be found at:
Risk review and statement on the risk Brucella canis presents to the UK human population (publishing.service.gov.uk)
Canine Brucellosis: Summary Information Sheet (defra.gov.uk)
 

Mrs Jingle

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Surely though he has caught it from the cattle which will be bovine brucellosis
Well yes obviously, I was merely referencing (as others have done) animal to human brucellosis risk with other animals, as in farming and vets, not just canine risks . Apologies if not relevant to this thread? 🤷‍♀️
 

Dobiegirl

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Very true but if your dog needs an op then vets wont do it without a test so you could be risking your dogs life.

If my dog had tested positive I would not have had her pts, obviously she would have been restricted but as I live on a farm a lot of which the gp dont have access to the chances of her passing it on to another dog is slim. I would have had my other dogs tested and all their doggy friends which I would have paid for. Vets Im sure would be wearing full PPE if examining her.
 

Mrs Jingle

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I have also had people tell me it’s ‘part of my job’ to be exposed to bites, and zoonotic disease and a risk I should just accept because it’s not their fault Fluffy has a communicable disease
I can see that would be a fairly regular thought process sadly. Look at how many numpty horse owners , who should know better, think it is the farrier's job to risk having his head caved in by their spoilt, obnoxious, untrained and unmannerly horse, same ignorance and disregard for others.
 

Clodagh

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When I bought Bonnie over from Australia, when I moved back here, she did her 6 months quarantine. At that time heartworm was not a thing in the UK but it was common in Oz. I paid for her to be tested as soon as I got her out of quarantine as I would not want to be inadvertently introducing a disease to another country.
 

Pearlsasinger

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Very true but if your dog needs an op then vets wont do it without a test so you could be risking your dogs life.

If my dog had tested positive I would not have had her pts, obviously she would have been restricted but as I live on a farm a lot of which the gp dont have access to the chances of her passing it on to another dog is slim. I would have had my other dogs tested and all their doggy friends which I would have paid for. Vets Im sure would be wearing full PPE if examining her.

I am glad, on every level, that your dog did not test positive.

However, the problem with this thinking is that if your dog tested positive, testing your other dogs and their doggy friends wouldn't protect them from contracting bc at a later date, after interactions with your positive dog.
 

Dobiegirl

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That is true but dogs are being infected in the womb ie from the bitch or sexual contact, my dog, indeed all my dogs and friends dogs are all neutered or spayed. Its certainly not so infectious as Covid for example and I did discuss with my vet what would be the implications if she tested positive, its certainly not compulsory to have your dog pts and tbh I saw it as a management issue for me which would be perfectly achievable given where i live and my lifestyle. I also discussed in depth with my friends and family and they agreed they wouldnt have theirs pts either but would manage their dogs accordingly.
I am glad, on every level, that your dog did not test positive.

However, the problem with this thinking is that if your dog tested positive, testing your other dogs and their doggy friends wouldn't protect them from contracting bc at a later date, after interactions with your positive dog.
 

Pearlsasinger

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That is true but dogs are being infected in the womb ie from the bitch or sexual contact, my dog, indeed all my dogs and friends dogs are all neutered or spayed. Its certainly not so infectious as Covid for example and I did discuss with my vet what would be the implications if she tested positive, its certainly not compulsory to have your dog pts and tbh I saw it as a management issue for me which would be perfectly achievable given where i live and my lifestyle. I also discussed in depth with my friends and family and they agreed they wouldnt have theirs pts either but would manage their dogs accordingly.


My understanding is that it not only passed through sexual contact but through contact with bodily fluids, after all the vet/lab assistants who are at risk won't be having sexual contact with the positive dogs. So I would expect that, even if unlikely, bc could be passed on from one dog to another that it lives with, through saliva/blood.
 

skinnydipper

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"How is canine brucellosis spread?

Large numbers of B. canis bacteria are shed in the genital secretions (semen or vaginal discharges) of an infected dog. Smaller amounts of bacteria may also be shed in the dog's urine or saliva. After a female dog aborts a pregnancy because of brucellosis, she will continue to discharge fluids infected with the bacteria for 4-6 weeks after the abortion.

Dogs are exposed to the disease via contact with infected bodily fluids. Although the most common route of infection is oral (i.e., from licking contaminated urine or discharges from the reproductive tract or licking or chewing placental material or aborted fetuses), dogs can also pick up an infection through sexual transmission, inhalation (sniffing contaminated urine or other discharges), or through other mucous membranes such as the eyes."

Given dogs' propensity for sticking their snouts up another dog's nether regions or playing bitey face, I can see how a dog might become infected other than through copulation or vertical transmission.
 

Pearlsasinger

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"How is canine brucellosis spread?

Large numbers of B. canis bacteria are shed in the genital secretions (semen or vaginal discharges) of an infected dog. Smaller amounts of bacteria may also be shed in the dog's urine or saliva. After a female dog aborts a pregnancy because of brucellosis, she will continue to discharge fluids infected with the bacteria for 4-6 weeks after the abortion.

Dogs are exposed to the disease via contact with infected bodily fluids. Although the most common route of infection is oral (i.e., from licking contaminated urine or discharges from the reproductive tract or licking or chewing placental material or aborted fetuses), dogs can also pick up an infection through sexual transmission, inhalation (sniffing contaminated urine or other discharges), or through other mucous membranes such as the eyes."

Given dogs' propensity for sticking their snouts up another dog's nether regions or playing bitey face, I can see how a dog might become infected other than through copulation or vertical transmission.

Exactly. IMHO any dog which does test positive should be humanely pts asap. We absolutely do not want bc within these shores.
 

Redders

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The ban is for commercial imports, so the reason behind the import is what is banned. Rescues would be classed as commercial, and would be aware of the ban so either won’t load up to travel, or will attempt to find ways of saying it’s not a commercial import and is private - so make out it’s a private individual importing their privately owned dog. Bet yes, if a commercial export ban turned up, they would be turned away
 

skinnydipper

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Ian Wright, who heads up the European Scientific Counsel for Companion Animal Parasites UK and Ireland, said: “Illegal imports under the shadow of commercial imports have been a concern for some time.

“Eastern Europe is endemic for a number of parasites exotic to the UK that infect dogs. Of greatest concern alongside rabies are Brucella canis and Echinococcus multilocularis, because of zoonotic risk and their potential to establish in the UK.
“Other parasites of concern include Ehrlichia canis, heartworm, Babesia canis and Leishmania. Testing imported dogs, and ensuring adequate vaccinations and tapeworm treatments are carried out, are key to minimising the risk these parasites represent.”
He added: “Illegal imports greatly increase the risk of these crucial steps being missed, as well as compromising welfare, and Defra has to consider this when legislating for cat and dog importation.”

Read more here:

https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/vets-welcome-temporary-suspension-of-commercial-pet-imports/
 
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skinnydipper

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"Commercial import of dogs, cats and ferrets to Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) from Belarus, Poland, Romania or Ukraine

Great Britain has temporarily suspended the commercial import of dogs, cats and ferrets if they originate from or have been dispatched from Belarus, Poland, Romania or Ukraine, until 9 July 2022.

Commercial imports are the sale of or the transfer of ownership of a pet animal. This includes rescue animals and if you are travelling with more than 5 dogs, cats or ferrets if these animals are not attending training for a competition, show or sporting event. This suspension does not apply to non-commercial pet animals from these countries.

This decision has been taken because of the serious health risk to humans and animals in Great Britain from commercial cats, dogs and ferrets from Belarus, Poland, Romania or Ukraine that do not comply with UK health and documentation requirements. These countries are at high-risk of rabies.

The risk has been exacerbated by serious cases of non-compliance from countries neighbouring Ukraine which are experiencing high volumes of animal movements at present."

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/imports-and-exports-of-animals-and-animal-products-topical-issues#:~:text=Great Britain has temporarily suspended,ownership of a pet animal.
 

Dobiegirl

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In terms of positive cases, the options put forward by the CVO are euthanasia or to at least neuter with pre- and post-operative antibiotics. The rationale for the latter is protection of the staff involved in the neutering procedure – appropriate PPE is still necessary – and to suppress potential recrudescence of infection.
Apart from the immediate zoonotic aspect, what of the impact of Brucella canis positive dogs in our canine population? Consideration must be given to who they live with (immunocompromised individuals are thought to be at greater risk) and to dogs they interact with; the recommendation is not to take infected dogs to areas that other dogs frequent, which does severely limit where they can go.
As I said earlier if my dog had tested positive I wouldnt have had her pts because of how I could manage her on our own farm which is private so she wouldnt come into contact with other dogs.
Its still not compulsory to test dogs for this prior to importation which to me is a ridiculous situation, DEFRA & APHA really need to get a grip on this and they have known about this for at least a year.
 

Clodagh

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"Commercial import of dogs, cats and ferrets to Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) from Belarus, Poland, Romania or Ukraine

Great Britain has temporarily suspended the commercial import of dogs, cats and ferrets if they originate from or have been dispatched from Belarus, Poland, Romania or Ukraine, until 9 July 2022.

Commercial imports are the sale of or the transfer of ownership of a pet animal. This includes rescue animals and if you are travelling with more than 5 dogs, cats or ferrets if these animals are not attending training for a competition, show or sporting event. This suspension does not apply to non-commercial pet animals from these countries.

This decision has been taken because of the serious health risk to humans and animals in Great Britain from commercial cats, dogs and ferrets from Belarus, Poland, Romania or Ukraine that do not comply with UK health and documentation requirements. These countries are at high-risk of rabies.

The risk has been exacerbated by serious cases of non-compliance from countries neighbouring Ukraine which are experiencing high volumes of animal movements at present."

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/imports-and-exports-of-animals-and-animal-products-topical-issues#:~:text=Great Britain has temporarily suspended,ownership of a pet animal.
so the ‘rescues’ can just forge paperwork to show they are from somewhere else? I wonder if the big import peopke like Many Tears will have less dogs available?
 

skinnydipper

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Thank you Dg, for posting the link to this.

I note that DEFRA estimates 30,000 dogs were imported from Romania in 2020.

and that the recommended approach for confirmed infected animals is euthanasia.


1655127162009.png
 

splashgirl45

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exactly and who cares if the poor things are petrified, lets shove them in a van with a load of others and charge the numptys in GB a huge fee and then the new owners spend months agonising about how to make the dogs life happy....i had a friend who took on a rumanian rescue, she didnt meet it first just fell for a photo, an awful experience for both my friend and the dog. it was only 5 months old and was petrified of everything and it took my friend ages to get the dog to stay indoors. the dog didnt improve no matter what my friend did and she eventually found a behaviourist who was prepared to take the dog on and try to improve her life.. i havent heard how she got on, it has traumatised my friend and put her off of ever trying to rehome again which is a shame as she has had dogs for many years and never had a problem and would be a good home
 

Orangehorse

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There was a fad a few years ago for importing horses from Russia. The trouble is that when they were made fit to go and compete they would drop dead from worm damage, to the extent that insurance companies would refuse to insure any horse bred in Russia.
 

skinnydipper

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Posted on Facebook by Barnaby and Bluebell on 20 June 2022.

"The following is posted with permission from those involved.

A woman was hospitalised and confirmed positive for Brucella Canis as was the foster dog from whom she contracted the disease.
She was seriously ill and the prognosis is currently unclear. There are further issues complicating what is already a horrific situation but these will not be discussed here.

Since she was hospitalised, I have seen numerous posts from the rescue and others trying to justify the events that have led to this yet very few posts or comments asking after the woman who’s life is now in turmoil.

So let’s be clear on a few facts!

The rescue involved has had dogs seized for having fake titre tests.
They have, on more than one occasion, brought dogs in by car on the Pet Passport Scheme.

They have brought in breed pups as rescues from a breeder they ‘partner’ with in Belarus. They brought in three pregnant bitches, who became pregnant whilst under rescue care after becoming impregnated at their fosters home in Belarus.
No registered shelter details have been provided, as required by Balai, in Belarus only foster details.

As is usual in these cases, everything is brushed off as a ‘mistake’!
Well the number of ‘mistakes’ being made by certain ‘rescues’ resulting in risk to animals and people in the UK as well as negatively impacting on the welfare of the animals involved is unacceptable and needs addressing.

Four years ago concerns of Brucella in imported dogs were brought to the attention of APHA. A year ago a risk study was undertaken. Now we have the first UK case of Brucella transmitted from canine to human in the UK. Is this to be the same for Echinococcus and rabies?

When rescues already fail to comply with the current mandatory preparations, making Brucella screening mandatory is simply not enough. There needs to be greater control over who can import dogs and the transports, foreign vets and units involved in the rescue chain."
 

Quigleyandme

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Because UK rescue centres make it damn nigh impossible to rescue a dog unless you are very active, retired, don't dare work, have £££££'s in the bank and leave them your house in your will.
Don’t forget the fully enclosed perimeter. I could offer a rescue a brilliant home and life but I live on a farm so I’m unsuitable. If I lived in a terrace house with a tiny but enclosed courtyard I’d be considered ideal.
 
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