Skip to content
Font Size

What Is Brucellosis?

Can I Get Brucellosis From My Dog?

Dogs can become infected with B. canis. Some pet owners have developed brucellosis this way but the disease is usually mild. There is at least one known case of brucellosis spreading to a human by a dog bite. But spreading brucellosis this way is uncommon. Most dogs infected with Brucella do NOT spread the bacteria to their owners.

You are more likely to get brucellosis from an infected dog if you come in contact with blood or other fluids from the animal. Veterinarians have an increased risk of brucellosis.

If you have a weakened immune system due to medications or certain diseases, you should not touch dogs that are infected with Brucella.

What Are the Risk Factors for Brucellosis?

In the U.S., brucellosis is more common in men. Men who become sick with the disease most often work or have worked around livestock. Brucellosis is uncommon in children.

You are more likely to get brucellosis if you:

  • Eat or drink unpasteurized dairy products from cows, goats, or other animals that are infected with the bacteria
  • Eat other unpasteurized cheeses called "village cheeses." These come from high-risk regions, including the Mediterranean
  • Travel to areas where Brucella is common
  • Work in a meat-processing plant or slaughterhouse
  • Work on a farm

Brucellosis has also been reported in:

  • Hunters in the U.S.
  • Veterinarians who have immunized cattle with the Brucellavaccine

What Are the Symptoms of Brucellosis?

General symptoms of brucellosis are often vague and similar to the flu. They may include:

Symptoms usually appear within five to 30 days after you come in contact with the bacteria. How bad your symptoms are depends on what type of Brucella is making you sick:

  • B. abortus usually causes mild or moderate symptoms, but they are more likely to become chronic (long-lasting).
  • B. canis symptoms may come and go. They are similar to B. abortus infection, although people with B. canis often have vomiting and diarrhea.
  • B. suis may cause areas of infection (called abscesses) in different organs.
  • B. melitensis may cause sudden and severe symptoms, which may lead to disability.

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
Remember your finger
Are You Getting More Forgetful?
fruit drinks
Eat these to think better.
No gym workout
Moves to help control blood sugar.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Close up of eye
12 reasons you're distracted.
birth control pills
Which kind is right for you?
embarrassed woman
Do you feel guilty after eating?
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
woman biting a big ice cube
Habits that wreck your teeth.
pacemaker next to xray
Treatment options.
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.