The canine circovirus was recently found in dogs in Ohio and California and has now found its way to Michigan. Ohio issued a warning to veterinarians to be on the lookout for dogs with symptoms that included bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, neurological problems. At least three Ohio dogs died from the Virus and many more became ill with it. Now, dogs in Michigan and showing these same symptoms.
Two cases of canine circovirus have been confirmed in Michigan so far. The Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health at the Michigan State University confirmed Thursday that both animals had infections with other organisms at the same time. This mean the symptoms the dogs are showing may not be caused from the circovirus alone. Veterinarians are still trying to determine if the canine circo virus is actually causing the symptoms, illness and death in dogs or if it is only accompanying another virus that is responsible for the devastation.
“It is important to note that circovirus has been found in the feces of healthy dogs. Also, the initial research shows that nearly 70 percent of dogs showing clinical signs of illness and found positive for circovirus were also infected with other viruses or bacteria known to cause disease. Currently, circovirus by itself is not associated with a specific disease process. However, co-infection with canine circovirus and other pathogens may have the potential to cause disease as has been demonstrated in other species, for example pigs,” said Thomas Mullaney, acting director at the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health.
The actual name of the virus is Porcine Circovirus (PCV) and it is commonly found in pigs. How the virus is transferred to dogs is not yet know and many people have speculated that contaminated dog food could be to blame. Dogs that have caught the virus can suffer from acute necrotizing vasocilitis. which caused the blood vessels to become damaged and start leaking fluid. This fluid can build up around the lungs and in the abdomen and lead to blood clots and hemorrhages.
Veterinarians throughout the country are advising pet owners to bring their dogs in if they start showing any of the symptoms associated with the circovirus.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.