An unknown canine disease has resulted in the death of several dogs in Ohio and Michigan. In the past few months, at least ten dogs have died from the disease. The disease works quickly, first showing mild signs, then quickly advancing. The dogs that have died from this disease passed away within forty-eight hours of showing the first symptoms.
Researchers say that the disease has virus-like symptoms, in that it seems to be contagious and it works like a virus once it has entered the system. Tests have shown that the disease may be a variation of the circovirus, although this is still yet to be confirmed. There is some indication that humans may be carriers of the disease, as many owners exhibited flu-like symptoms as well, and thus humans could be helping to spread it to other dogs. To prevent this, people are being urged to wash their hands between handling pets. So far, the disease has only been seen in dogs.
In late august, a few instances of the disease surfaced in Ohio. In the last week, six new cases have resulted in dog death in the Anne Arbor area of Michigan, with the dogs dying within twenty-four hours of showing symptoms. Veterinarians were baffled as the cases rolled in, with the dogs testing negative for all of the known dog diseases that are commonly tested.
What the Disease Does
Once the disease is in the dog’s system, the dog will begin to show mild symptoms of illness, such as lethargy and vomiting. This quickly advances to more severe symptoms, such as pain with barking, abdominal pain and swelling, and bloody discharge with or without stool. Research has revealed that the dogs’ blood vessels swell, leaking fluid and eventually causing internal bleeding.
Fortunately, a few dogs that have been brought in with the virus have responded positively to treatment. In those cases, the dogs had just begun to show symptoms of illness, and the disease was caught very early on. For this reason, dog owners are being asked to bring their pet in at the first signs of any symptoms of illness.