Mysterious parvovirus-like disease kills up to 60 dogs in Michigan

A mysterious disease is infecting dogs in Michigan, and some cases appear to be fatal. This is a parvovirus-like disease that causes vomiting and bloody stools.

Parvovirus is highly contagious to dogs and is common in Michigan. With a vaccine available, the virus cannot be transmitted to other animals or people.

More than 30 people have died from the disease in Otsego County, Melissa Fitzgerald, director of animal control and shelter for Otsego County, told CBS News. At least 10 people have died in Clare County and about 10 in Ostergo County, but Fitzgerald said there could be more.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said it received a report that a dog in northern Michigan was vomiting and had diarrhea. These are common symptoms of canine parvovirus, but animals tested negative for parvovirus at the veterinary clinic.

Other animal control agencies in northern Michigan have reported seeing dogs with the same symptoms, along with other symptoms commonly associated with parvovirus, such as lethargy and loss of appetite. The cause of the symptoms has not been determined.

The State Department is working with partners including the Michigan Association of Animal Control Officials, Michigan State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to learn more about the disease, but they are still in the early stages of their investigation.

State veterinarian Nora Winland said in a statement that a sample was submitted to a state university laboratory and tested positive for canine parvovirus, but more results are pending.

“When MDARD first learned of these cases in northern Michigan, we immediately contacted the relevant veterinarians and animal shelters and began our response. Animal protection and public health are one of the department’s main pillars,” But it’s a team effort. Dog owners need to make sure their pets are regularly up-to-date with the latest vaccinations, as this is the first step in keeping their pets healthy.”

The department is urging pet owners to vaccinate their dogs regularly, clean up their pets, keep unvaccinated puppies away from other dogs and keep any dogs with signs of illness away from other dogs.

Earlier this month, the Ostergo County Animal Shelter released news about a mysterious illness that has infected dogs in the area, saying several dogs were showing mild symptoms but tested negative. “Most of these dogs have passed within 3 days,” the animal shelter wrote in its Facebook post. “Most of these dogs were under 2 years old. Some of the dogs were vaccinated.”

“Nobody has an answer. The best ‘guess’ is that it’s a parvovirus,” the shelter said at the time, adding that they hadn’t talked about the disease before then, “because we really don’t have anything. Know. “

The animal shelter has been in close contact with veterinarians in surrounding towns trying to figure out the cause of Gaylord, Traverse City, Grayling, Mancelona and Indian River, and said the infected dog was not in any one area .

On Friday, animal shelters released an update that the disease, which affects some breeds no more than others, has been found in dogs in many counties around northern and central Michigan. The shelter said at the time that while the baffling disease had killed many dogs in the area, it had not seen any “properly vaccinated dogs” die. In Clare County, animal control director Rudy Hicks said last week that all dogs showing symptoms of the disease have died, regardless of their vaccine status, according to Clare County Cleaver.

The shelter said the disease was likely a parvovirus, although the cause was unclear. It also mentions that there are “many” canine diseases with symptoms similar to parvovirus, so veterinarians may treat individual cases differently. Still, shelters are urging people to properly vaccinate their dogs against parvovirus. The Otsego County Animal Control Center and Shelter will be hosting a parvovirus vaccine clinic at the Otsego County Fire Department on Wednesday, August 24th.

CBS News has contacted the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and is awaiting a response.

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