A deadly dog virus is blamed for killing pets in Ohio and Michigan. The mysterious illness has not been identified. However, veterinarians say it is similar to Circovirus.
The virus presents with flu-like symptoms, including lethargy, abdominal pain, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. The illness progresses quickly, killing dogs within days if not treated.
The sickness is blamed for killing at least six dogs in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Dr. Lindsay Ruland of Emergency Veterinary Hospital treated several dogs with the virus. She believes the dogs may be contracting the sickness from their owners. As reported by WXYZ News, several pet owners report experiencing flu-like symptoms days before their dogs become ill.
Although it is unusual for illness to pass between humans and dogs, it remains a possibility. The virus is not deadly in humans. However, pet owners are encouraged to wash their hands or use sanitizer before and after handling pets.
As reported by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, a deadly dog virus is killing pets in Ohio as well. The deaths prompted a warning from director David T. Daniels.
Ohio dog owners and veterinarians report the same symptoms seen in Michigan. Officials are calling the virus an unidentified “severe dog illness.” The virus has affected dogs in several regions throughout the state.
Officials in Ohio also announced a confirmed report of canine circovirus in one of the sick dogs. State veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshe explains the results:
“Because the symptoms being exhibited can also be linked to other known illnesses, additional analysis and information is needed to determine if this virus alone or in co-infection contributes to death and illness… “
As officials continue to gather information, pet owners are encouraged to take precautions. Washing hands is imperative when handling pets. Pet owners are also cautioned to keep their dogs away from other dogs that may be ill.
The virus may be passed through saliva or feces. Therefore, dogs should not share toys, bedding, food, or water. Pet owners are also urged to be cautious of feces encountered when walking their dogs outside.
Dogs that begin to display flu-like symptoms should be taken to the vet immediately. The deadly dog virus can be treated, but it needs to be diagnosed early.
[Image via Flickr]