Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Controlling Brucellosis in Your Shih Tzu Breeding Kennel

Controlling Brucellosis in Your Shih Tzu Breeding Kennel
by Connie Limon (Email: connielimon@yahoo.com)
Connie Limon
Are you thinking about breeding your Shih Tzu or you are already an established Shih Tzu kennel? You might think about having your Shih Tzu tested for Brucellosis on a regular basis.

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease known very well by food animal producers. Brucellosis can cause a number of breeding problems such as abortions, infertility and decreased milk yield in cattle.

Not only does Brucellosis affect cattle, but it can also affect dogs, including the Shih Tzu, sheep, goats, pigs and even humans.

How is Brucellosis passed in these different species of animals including the Shih Tzu? The major way Brucellosis is transmitted is through direct contact of an infected aborted fetus, or uterine discharge. Brucellosis is also spread when animals eat contaminated feces, and through sexual contact.

Signs of a Brucellosis infection in dogs and the Shih Tzu may include:

* Abortion * Infertility * Infected reproductive organs * Arthritis * Disc disease * Fever * Hind limb weakness * Lethargy * General lymph node swelling

These are signs of many diseases; therefore, it is important to take your Shih Tzu to the veterinarian if it shows any of them. The veterinarian will draw a blood sample to make a definitive diagnosis of Brucellosis in your Shih Tzu.

If your Shih Tzu is diagnosed with Brucellosis be aware that it is difficult to treat. It often takes a long period of antibiotic therapy to get rid of Brucellosis fully. Blood samples are required to monitor the progress of the drug treatment. These blood samples can get expensive.

It is possible for humans to become infected with canine Brucellosis. You could possibly contract the disease of Brucellosis from your Shih Tzu; however, transmission from dogs to people seems to be uncommon.

Since Brucellosis is sexually transmitted, it is important for Shih Tzu breeders to be sure all of the Shih Tzu in their kennel test negative for the bacteria. If your Shih Tzu test positive for Brucellosis, do not breed them. Your Shih Tzu may in fact show no clinical signs of Brucellosis, but still be able to transmit the disease in semen or vaginal fluid. Therefore testing is vital.

When is the best time to test your Shih Tzu for Brucellosis?

* Female Shih Tzu should be tested a few weeks before they come into heat. * Male Shih Tzu should be tested twice a year. * Any new Shih Tzu brought into the kennel should be isolated until tests prove negative results twice. The second test should be done one month after the first one.

Many disinfectants prepared especially for kennel use easily kills the bacteria. The bacteria are also relatively easy to kill with a diluted bleach/water solution.

At the present time in vet science there are no vaccines available for canine brucellosis. Ways to help control Brucellosis in your Shih Tzu kennel include:

* Eliminating positive animals from breeding stock * Proper disposal of waste and wearing gloves to handle any fetal membranes or aborted Shih Tzu fetuses, followed by thorough disinfection of the area.

Questions regarding canine Brucellosis should be directed toward your veterinarian.

Author: Connie Limon, breeder of pet and show prospect Shih Tzu in a variety of colors. Visit http://www.stainglassshihtzus.com and sign up for our FREE newsletters. Our website offers a wealth of information. Puppies are sold with health guarantee and are bred from champion bloodlines. Also visit our collection of Shih Tzu articles at http://shihtzuarticles.com

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