Agencies investigating deadly virus killing dogs in Michigan

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Multiple agencies are investigating a mysterious virus in Michigan that is killing dogs. The illness has similar symptoms to the deadly and highly contagious parvovirus, but testing for parvo is coming back negative.

As reported by Detroit Free Press, the viral outbreak first occurred in Otsego County, and approximately 30 dogs have died. The illness causes vomiting and diarrhea, is sometimes bloody, and kills dogs within days. So far, there is no evidence to suggest that the illness can spread to humans.

Earlier this week, the state Department of Agriculture is coordinating with area veterinary clinics and animal hospitals to try and determine what the virus is. According to WOOD TV, the death toll for the entire state has recently doubled, jumping to 60 dogs, and most of the dogs impacted by the disease are under the age of two.

Veterinarians recommend keeping dogs up-to-date on all vaccines to help keep them safe. Dr. Jennifer Calogero, assistant state veterinarian with the MDARD, tells the news agency:

“It’s going to be those unvaccinated ones that put them in the greater category for this serious illness and or higher risk for potential death. It’s working with your veterinarian to make sure you vaccinate as quickly as possible for the dog’s life.”

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