An unidentified virus has been sickening and killing dozens of dogs in northern Michigan over the past month. The unidentified virus appears similar to canine parvovirus in symptoms.* The new unidentified virus is suspected to have come from Louisiana. It kills dogs within three days of symptoms. It is not yet known how the virus spreads.
Symptoms of mystery virus killing dogs
Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy.
Which dogs are affected?
The virus affects puppies and older dogs, and when the animals are tested by veterinarians, the initial test for parvo is negative. Most of the dogs who have contracted the illness in Michigan so far have been under the age of 2. Dogs with vaccinations for parvo have been among the dogs diagnosed with the mystery illness.
Protecting your dog from the mystery virus
Experts recommend keeping pets away from other dogs or areas where a lot of dogs have been, including dog parks. Though some dogs that have contracted the unidentified mystery virus have been vaccinated for parvo, some veterinarians still recommend getting dogs vaccinated for parvo.
* Parvo is one of the most deadly diseases a dog can contract. Parvo is a highly contagious viral disease of dogs that causes acute gastrointestinal illness in puppies. The disease, often fatal, most often strikes in pups between 6 and 20 weeks old, but older animals are sometimes also affected.