A mystery disease that has sickened and killed dozens of dogs across Michigan has been identified by state officials as canine parvovirus.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s announcement comes after an animal shelter in Otsego County reported that at least 30 animals had succumbed to the disease despite testing negative.
Canine parvovirus is transmitted through feces and symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.
“Canine parvovirus is a serious and highly contagious disease in dogs, but the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and veterinary experts have extensive experience with this virus,” state veterinarian Nora Wineland said in a statement.
“We have a very effective vaccine that helps protect dogs from the virus. Dogs that are not fully vaccinated against this virus are at the highest risk,” he continued. should work closely with their veterinarians.”
Michigan State University Veterinary Medicine Diagnostic Laboratory Director Kim Todd described the situation as “complicated because even though dogs are showing clinical signs Refers to parvovirusThey regularly test negative through point-of-care tests performed in clinics and shelters.
“While those tests are valuable in the clinical setting, they are not as sensitive as the diagnostic tests we can do in the lab,” he added. “We are further characterizing the virus in hopes of better understanding why those animals test negative in screening tests.”
But Michigan officials stressed that “canine parvovirus is not contagious to people or other domestic animals.”