Dog owners should be aware that there is a virus making dogs sick in California, Michigan, and Ohio. Some veterinarians fear it may make its way across country. If not treated, it has the potential to kill an infected dog.
To date, however, circovirus, the presumed culprit, has been determined only to be the possible cause of illness in those three states, and in the death of dogs in Ohio.
First reported in June 2012, genetic screening for new viruses found circovirus in dogs. But, according to The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there is much to learn about circovirus and its role in disease. Investigations take time, and so far there is no confirmation that circovirus is involved.
Some of the infected dogs were recently in boarding or daycare facilities, but it is not an indication that boarding or daycare facilities were the source of the virus. The route of infection is still unknown. Nevertheless, AVMA cautions, “Ã¢Â?Â¦ many viruses can be spread from animal to animal through the use of shared bedding and equipment or through human contact with an infected animal.”
Even though you may live in a state where there are no incidents of circovirus in dogs, it is not only prudent to be aware of its potential and likely roots of infection, but also known symptoms, and what precautions pet owners, boarding and daycare facilities should take.
For years, veterinarians have been aware of circovirus in pig populations, but in dogs it is new and a fairly recent discovery, therefore, the symptoms are not well defined.
It is known in pigs that circovirus is spread through their feces and contact with respiratory secretions. In the suspected infections of dogs, there was intestinal tract inflammation, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.
AVMA recommends that pet owners, boarding, and daycare facilities should diligently perform the principles and practices of good hygiene, sanitation, and disinfection, as well as monitor dogs for signs of illness. If your dog has symptoms contact your veterinarian immediately.