“Parvo-Like” Illness in Michigan
*UPDATE: Additional tests were run at a lab and discovered the dogs did in fact have parvovirus. It is unclear why the immediate test results were negative. The affected dogs did not have a history of complete vaccination.
From MDARD’s update: “This situation is complex because although the dogs displayed clinical signs suggestive of parvovirus, they consistently test negative by point-of-care tests performed in clinics and shelters,” said MSU VDL director Kim Dodd, DVM. “Screening tests for parvo are done to help guide immediate isolation, disinfection, and treatment protocols. While those tests are valuable in the clinical setting, they are not as sensitive as the diagnostic tests we can perform here in the laboratory. We continue to further characterize the virus in hopes of better understanding why those animals were testing negative on screening tests.”
“Canine parvovirus is a severe and highly contagious disease in dogs and veterinary professionals have extensive experience with this virus,” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM. “We have a highly effective vaccine available to help protect dogs from the virus. Dogs that are not fully vaccinated against this virus are the most at risk. Dog owners across Michigan must work closely with their veterinarians to ensure their dogs are appropriately vaccinated and given timely boosters to keep their pets safe and healthy. Protecting Michigan’s dogs is a team effort.”
The discovery of these cases should not cause dog owners to drastically change how they care for their pets or where they plan to travel. If dogs are fully vaccinated against canine parvovirus, they are protected against severe illness, but it is important to always consult with your veterinarian.
MDARD is encouraging all dog owners to take a few simple steps to protect their animals:
- Keep up with routine vaccinations by ensuring dogs/puppies are vaccinated against canine parvovirus, rabies, canine distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and leptospirosis by a veterinarian.
- Have dogs/puppies fully vaccinated before interacting with other animals to keep them healthy and safe.
- Keep dogs/puppies at home and away from other dogs if they are exhibiting any signs of illness and contact your veterinarian.
- Be sure to clean up after your pet when you’re walking them in public.
Canine parvovirus is NOT contagious to people or other species of domestic animals. The disease is common in Michigan and Indiana.
*ORINGINAL: Yesterday, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) released information about the presence of a parvovirus-like illness in dogs in Northern Michigan.
Where Is This Happening?
Reports have come from outside Otsego County, Vanderbilt, the City of Gaylord, west of Gaylord, and south of Gaylord.
What Are the Symptoms?
This illness is presenting in pets very similarly to Parvovirus with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody stools. If your pet is showing these symptoms, please contact us immediately.
How Can I Protect My Pet?
We are in alignment with MDARD’s recommendations for keeping our clients and their animals safe. We encourage all dog owners to take the following steps:
- Have your dogs/puppies fully vaccinated before interacting with other animals.
- Keep up with routine vaccinations (especially for those living in or traveling with pets to the northern Lower Peninsula) by ensuring dogs/puppies are vaccinated against canine parvovirus, rabies, canine distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and leptospirosis.
- Keep dogs/puppies at home and away from other dogs if they are exhibiting any signs of illness and contact a veterinarian.
- Be sure to clean up after your pet when you’re walking them out in public.
If you are unsure of your pet’s vaccination status, please give us a call at 219-872-4191. Canine parvovirus is NOT contagious to people or other animals besides dogs.
Please note, this is an actively developing situation. As we receive accurate, and veterinary concluded information, we will share it with you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.