According to officials, a mysterious illness that has killed dozens of puppies in Michigan in recent weeks causes parvovirus-like symptoms.
On August 9, the Otsego County Animal Shelter announced on Facebook that dogs had become ill with an illness similar to parvovirus in the previous month. The parvovirus virus is highly contagious and spreads when a dog comes into contact with an infected dog or its faeces.
Over 30 dogs had died in Otsego County as of Monday, with the majority of them under the age of two and one over the age of four, and another 30 had died in Clare County, about 70 miles away, as previously reported by Insider.
It is unknown what causes the illness, how it spreads, and how to treat it. According to Rudi Hicks, Clare County’s animal control director, the virus’s symptoms are similar to those of parvovirus, but all affected dogs tested negative at the time.
According to Melissa FitzGerald, director of the Otsego County Animal Shelter, the “best guess” is that it is a new strain of parvovirus.
Vomiting and bloody diarrhoea are symptoms of the new illness.
According to the Clare County Cleaver, Hicks described the symptoms as “vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, and they all died within three days: vaccinated dogs and unvaccinated dogs.”
According to an August 19 statement from the Otsego County Animal Shelter, sick dogs have also displayed other parvovirus-like symptoms such as lethargy and appetite loss.
Vaccines may keep your dog from becoming seriously ill.
The state veterinarian at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Nora Wineland, told the Times that it was “definitely not time to panic,” but owners should make sure their dogs are up to date on their vaccination schedule.
“If a dog is vaccinated, they are in a much better position and are less likely to contract the severe disease and require supportive treatment to keep them alive,” she explained.
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