Dogs in Michigan are about to die from a mysterious disease

LANSING, Mich. – Federal and state agencies are investigating an unknown illness that plagued dogs in northern Michigan and killed at least 30 canines in one county after they showed signs of an illness like parvo.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said it is working with local animal control camps, veterinarians, Michigan State University veterinary laboratories, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and partners. other about testing to determine the cause of the disease.

The state agency said “several dogs” have fallen ill with similar symptoms in the northern part of the state’s Lower Peninsula with an illness similar to canine parvovirus, which affects the digestive tract of dogs and is spread by dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces. and environment.

A veterinarian told MDARD officials about treating a dog with vomiting and diarrhea, which are common symptoms of canine parvovirus. However, that dog tested negative for parvovirus at a veterinary clinic, the agency said.

The department said it has received information from animal control agencies in northern Michigan about dogs with similar symptoms, the cause of which has yet to be determined.

Read more: Dogs can sniff out COVID-19 and lingering signs of COVID, study suggests

State veterinarian Nora Wineland said in a statement that “detailed investigation of unusual or reportable animal disease findings” is an important part of MDARD’s mission.

In Otsego County, about 30 privately owned and most unvaccinated dogs have died, said Melissa FitzGerald, director of the county’s animal control department. She said that it seems the dogs are not related to each other.

“It was scary,” said FitzGerald Detroit Free Press. “There’s a lot that could happen.”

Adrianna Potrafkey, who lives in northern Michigan, said in early July her four dogs woke up with bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain. They have all recovered since then, which Potrafkey credits in part to the vaccines they received as puppies.

She says she hasn’t worked for two weeks in a row because she’s worried about leaving her dogs alone, saying her vet is confused by what she’s doing. Her dogs are sick.

“It affected me a lot. I can’t leave them in case something happens,” she said WXMI-TV.

MDARD says they strongly encourage dog owners to work with their veterinarians to ensure that their dogs are up to date with routine vaccinations. The agency says a highly effective vaccine for parvovirus is available to protect dogs against that disease.

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