A recently discovered virus has killed multiple dogs in Ohio.
Widely reported as being the result of infections of a rare canine virus – Canine Circovirus – contracted during kennel stays, the summer dog deaths have shocked the state and have left many weary of boarding their pets away from home.
Reports across the US have cited Canine Circovirus, a rare and only recently discovered bug that can kill dogs in isolated cases.
According to reports, four dogs have died of symptoms resembling those found in pets infected with circovirus – bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Other symptoms of the virus include hemorrhaging, lethargy, vasculitis and weight loss, according to the state.
Three of the deceased dogs stayed at the same kennel in Cincinnati in August, with another dog dead of similar symptoms discovered recently near Akron, reports said. Not all dogs with those symptoms have died, according.
Samples from all four dead dogs have been sent to a California lab for further testing, but authorities are no closer to determining the exact cause of the dogs’ deaths than they were when the announcement was made.
Officials are more concerned with eliminating possibilities than they are blaming a recently-discovered virus and causing a panic.
No other dogs have died of similar symptoms since the DOH announcement was made last week.
Canine Circovirus, discovered earlier this year, is closely related to a similar virus that kills pigs, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is not thought to be specific to any one breed, but scientists know very little about it at this time.
Akron veterinarian Melanie Butera told the Columbus Dispatch that she had treated many dogs with similar symptoms, but they had survived.
An unidentified doggie day care in the Cincinnati area has closed as a result of the outbreak and a nearby dog park has been closed until further notice to protect vulnerable pooches, according to WEWS.
This despite health officials saying they aren’t sure how the circovirus is spread, but that they believe the window for transmission among dogs is very small.
“The circovirus is not shed in the stool of sick dogs for more than a few days,” Melanie Butera told the Akron Beacon Journal health officials cautioned her.
She added: “This makes it less likely to be transmitted dog to dog unless the dog is in contact with a sick one at that time. Sick dogs are unlikely to be at the dog park.”
For now, authorities are asking that people keep a close eye on their pets and that if they notice anything unusual to bring it to the attention of a vet.