Deadly Ohio Dog Virus Hits Michigan

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

 10.3.13 - Dog Virus

Dog owners of the midwest, beware: there’s a deadly disease striking dogs, and it may be spreading to them by their owners. Flu-like symptoms may be present, and can be fatal within 12-24 hours of contracting it.

Cases of the virus similar to circovirus (typically associated with pigs) have been reported all across Ohio, and now six Michigan dogs have died from it. There is no name for the mysterious illness, because veterinarians and scientists aren’t exactly sure what it is yet.

“The laboratory confirmation is important because the virus is newly isolated, however we are not prepared at this time to confirm that canine circovirus is the cause of the dog illnesses,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. “Because the symptoms being exhibited can also be linked to other known illnesses, additional analysis and information is needed to determine if this virus alone or in co-infection contributes to illness and death in dogs.”

Symptoms can include lethargy, abdominal pain, lack of appetite, and most notably, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Dogs displaying these symptoms should be rushed to a vet, especially if someone they’ve been in close contact with is also under the weather. Dogs can be saved, but only if they are treated immediately.

“Usually within about 12 to 24 hours of it starting,” said Dr. Lindsay Ruland of the Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Ann Arbor.

It is unknown how the virus is transmitted, but it may be spreading through saliva and feces. No humans or other animals are believed to have died from the virus, but doctors are recommending that people wash their hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and hot water before and after touching their pets and their pets’ food, bedding, toys, etc. For the time, none of these items should be shared between animals, especially if people around them have had flu-like symptoms, and contact between dogs should be limited, or avoided altogether if it is known that a dog (or its human) has been sick recently.

“Traditionally we don’t pass viruses to our pets. This year, I think that there is potential that we are passing it to our pets,” Dr. Ruland said.






0 thoughts on “Deadly Ohio Dog Virus Hits Michigan”

  1. I saw the same type of symptoms in a dog in India too.. :'(
    can someone please suggest how to cure this.


    • Yep, Goodness knows how dangerous it is to socialize your dogs!

      If you isolate your dog because there is a possible new virus out there, you are increasing your chances of having a poorly socialized dog. Poorly socialized dogs act aggressively to humans and animals. This, in my opinion, is a much more likely way to lose your animal, whether it be by the police, or rescue/forfeiture.

      Look, be careful, be vigilant, and relax, the chances of your dogs getting this are extremely thin. If you see an ill dog, steer clear and clean yourself, your pet, and the area… This is common sense and no different than any other time.

      Personally, I avoid places such as dog parks, where there is a high concentration of bodily fluids, and almost no interaction with the dogs to whom the fluid originated. Instead, allow your dog to interact with other people and animals you see in day to day life, and invite new people and animals into your home, and meet up with them in other places (i.e. Beach, or Hiking Trail, or Camp Ground), and let them be dogs!

      Okay, kicking the common sense soap box away now…

      • Angel

        that’s not neccessary true.My dogs don’t hang around other animals and people and none of them are aggressive.People do have tempermental dogs and they don’t get tooken away for being aggressive.They only get tooken away if the owner is irresponsible and doesn’t take proper percautions on keeping the public safe.Some people over socialize their dogs and have no form of protection when some creep breaks in to their house at night because people took their dog’s natural drive to protect away.

    • Not necessarily. It sounds like it could be, but I think there are a lot of factors we still don’t know yet. Humans rarely carry the parvo virus. In fact, I believe we carry a form of the corona virus that would be more comparable to this. It could be a parvo or corona virus mutation, but I think it’s a bit early in the process to say for sure that there’s an answer here. The only thing that seems like an absolute fact, other than the common symptoms of parvo and corona viruses is the zoonotic potential, only it’s kinda the opposite direction from what we normally think of as zoonotic situations.

  3. I think is sounds like parvo too. Maybe a mutated strain that simulates a neg. test. I lost one poor dog so quick to that. Recognized it much quicker with my lab. He was not a young pup but a juvenile still and we made sure he had all his shots before bringing him home as our vet told us the virus could linger in the yard for 2 years.
    He got it anyway. We even cleaned the yard and fence with bleach before bringing him home. His parvo shot was a “live” series instead of the standard strain and fortunately he lived but it was touch and go. He sure did love his vet after that.

  4. I had a litter of pups they were given to good homes and I got a call one by one they were dying and they said it was parvo but I had kept one dog plus I had chiuhuahuabpups well they started getting sick so I found out the vet usestamiflu for parvo so I got my Dr to give me a script and used Gatorade also they all came out of it it wasn’t par probably the flu


Leave a Comment