A canine form of a cicovirus was discovered by the University of California, Davis in April 2013. Previously strains of this virus were only found in pigs and birds. In August, circovirus was suspected in the deaths of five dogs in Ohio, although now the virus is not considered a primary culprit in that investigation. In September, circovirus was found in two dogs that died in Michigan. One of those dogs also tested positive for parvovirus. The canine circovirus can cause vasculitis, inflammation of blood vessels. Infected dogs may show symptoms of vomiting and bloody diarrhea,indistinguishable from symptoms of many other diseases. The virus has been found in the feces of completely healthy dogs, meaning finding the virus in a sick dog does not mean the virus caused the illness. Much more research needs to be done before we know if the newly discovered circovirus is a significant pathogen in dogs. Just as before this virus was discovered, dogs with vomiting and bloody diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.
A message to all members of Michigan Veterinary Network
|The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is getting
increased reports of Leptospirosis Icterohaemorrhagiae in dogs, particularly in
Detroit. Dogs are reported to have presented with peracute to acute lethargy,
vomiting, and jaundice with severe clinical signs of kidney and liver failure.
Nine dogs are known to have died or been euthanized. In most cases dogs have
either have not been vaccinated against leptospirosis or had an uncertain
Case reports indicate that serovar
Icterohaemmorrhagiae is the likely infecting serovar in these cases. L.
Icterohaemorrhiae can cause severe disease in humans and animals. It is
commonly carried by rats, but can also be transmitted dog to dog.
Department is working with the Michigan Department of Community Health to
further investigate this situation. The Department advises that dogs be
vaccinated yearly against all four available serovars of leptospirosis. If a
practioner suspects a case of Leptospirosis, testing (e.g. convalescent antibody
titers, PCR, and/or culture) is recommended. As a reminder, Leptospirosis is a
reportable disease in the State of Michigan. To report suspect and
laboratory-confirmed cases of Leptospirosis in animals, contact 517-373-1077.
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