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I love reading stories and information about pets which could help both owners and animals.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Virus Sickening and Even Killing Dogs !

As the Owner/President of Snaggle Foot Dog Walks and Pet Care in Round Lake, Illinois, I am always trying to be aware of what is going on with pet health.

This particular news story is frightening to me because it is happening in the midwest which is where I live. There seems to be an outbreak of a virus going around which is sickening and even killing dogs.  Below I have some information regarding this new virus called Circovirus.

Some of the things pet owners can do if they want is to avoid places like kennels, doggie day care or dog parks at least for a while and keep your eyes and ears open to how this virus is progressing.  Some alternatives to this would be inhome pet care.

However, just because some of the dogs that have contracted this virus were at a doggie day care does not mean it is prevalent in these types of environments, it is just something that they are throwing out there as it is possible that putting a lot of dogs in one type of environment is a way to contract diseases.  Just like child day care.. if one child gets sick, a lot of other children can get sick also.

The following information was reported by Steve Dale, at Chicagonow.com.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture received the first confirmation of a case of the virus in one of these dogs.  More testing of samples from the other seven dogs who have gotten sick in the state is ongoing.  It's too soon to know if they all had the same disease.

Of the eight dogs who have had the severe illness over the past few weeks, four have died. Symptoms included vasculitis (which is a destruction of the body’s blood vessels), severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fluid buildup around the lungs, as well as rapid heart rate and weakness. Four cases were first reported in the Cincinnati area, followed by four in Canal Fulton, near Canton.

Ohio State pathologists have sent samples taken from the ill and dead dogs to a lab at the University of California-Davis to test them for circovirus. A one-year-old beagle with circovirus died in California in the spring, and the school’s lab has the equipment to test for the virus, which had not previously been diagnosed in dogs but is common in pigs.

A study detailing the California case was released in April in the Centers for Disease Control’s online journal “Emerging Infectious Diseases.”

Dr. Melanie Butera, a veterinarian at Elm Ridge Animal Hospital in Canal Fulton, treated all four of the Akron-area dogs, who were extremely ill with very similar symptoms, she said. The two worst cases came in collapsed and weak, with high heart rates and fluid around their lungs. One of the dogs died. All were around under five years and older than puppies. Oddly, all the dogs came in ill at about the same time, though none of the owners knew one another.

Veterinarians in the Cincinnati area who treated the four dogs sent samples to Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine for testing, said public relations director Melissa Weber. Tests for salmonella and other obvious causes of the illnesses came back negative, she said, and the ODA is awaiting further test results.

The department has not received any additional calls from the Cincinnati area since that time. Health officials and veterinarians said that early intervention and proactive treatment seems to be more successful than those who waited, even if it means visiting an emergency clinic.

Still, there is no reason to panic. Even dogs experiencing the described symptoms likely have an another explanation for their illness.

We all want our pets to be healthy so the best thing a pet parent can do is watch out for any signs of illness in your dog and get them to your vet as soon as possible.  It may not be Circovirus but getting them treated for any illness is what we, as pet parents, should always do for them !

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