NEW CANINE VIRUS REPORTED
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Recently, a new canine virus (Circovirus) causing flu-like symptoms has been reported. Some cases have resulted in the death of the affected dogs. Also, it is insinuated that several sick people may have been in contact with affected dogs prior to becoming ill. The disease was first reported in Ohio and recent cases MAY have been seen in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The virus has affected relatively few dogs, but it has received a lot of media attention.
Canine Circovirus, or CaCirV, is one of two types affecting animals (the other affects pigs). The virus appears to affect the vasculature (blood vessels) and results in gastrointestinal or respiratory symptoms of lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea (may be bloody), abdominal pain, sneezing or coughing. It is important to realize that these symptoms are present with many other common conditions not associated with this virus.
There is currently no vaccination for Canine Circovirus, and although there is a test for it, it is not readily available.
If your dog is having symptoms of illness, call your veterinarian to determine if a physical exam is needed.
This is a time to be careful, not to panic.
We recommend the following:
• Wash your hands frequently, especially following contact with any animals or after picking up feces.
• Do not allow any dog to lick your face.
• Avoid areas of fecal contamination and dog parks.
• Avoid unhealthy or unvaccinated animals.
• See your veterinarian regularly for health exams.
Please pass this information on to anyone you know who lives with a dog.
Canine Circovirus Update
The state veterinary testing lab announced yesterday that they have a test for this condition. The Michigan Dept of Agriculture reiterated that we do not know much about the virus or how it is spread. Most, but not all, affected dogs seem to have a coexisting infection. There is no indication that the virus can be spread to/from humans.
With such limited information, it would be prudent to avoid areas of dog congregation for a month or so while the prevalence and character of the virus is determined. This is especially important for congregations of dogs with unknown health or vaccination status. If your dog shows symptoms of any illness, it should not be taken to public or canine congregation areas.
Leader Dog has not experienced any serious or suspicious cases at this time.
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