For the last few months, there has been some talk about a new disease “outbreak” in dogs. It started in Ohio, and it has been isolated in Michigan and California since the initial cases. It all started in August and early September, and it is still a hot topic in veterinary circles. With this article we hope to keep our clients in Northern Nevada updated on this issue.

There are a lot of unanswered questions around this possible outbreak and in order to keep our doggie patients happy and healthy, this is the newest information we have to offer:

1. Circoviruses are small viruses that have been known to infect pigs and birds. They survive well in the environment once shed from affected animals. The canine variation of this virus is more similar to the porcine (pig) variety than to the avian (bird), but it is not the same. It is not currently believed that dogs can be infected with the virus from pigs.

2. In the “outbreak” of this new disease, dogs have presented with various clinical signs. Severe bloody diarrhea is the one common clinical symptom they share. Circovirus has been isolated in dogs with severe vomiting and diarrhea. Other dogs involved in the “outbreak” have been tested and no Circovirus was found. Circovirus has also been isolated in healthy dogs with no symptoms! If your dog is experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea, please call our hospital. Our doctors will discuss with you if your dog needs to be seen for additional treatment. There are numerous reasons for vomiting and/or diarrhea ranging from some self-limiting ‘dietary indiscretion’ reasons (getting into the garbage or overeating rich foods or treats) to some very serious bacterial, viral or protozoal causes. Sick as a dog

3. Treatment is supportive at this time. The cause of the illness will need to be isolated in order to better know how to treat it. To correct dehydration, dogs would be placed on IV fluids. Antibiotics will be given for treating possible secondary bacterial infections due to the whole body being compromised. Vomiting and diarrhea will also be addressed using different medications and supplements. Some cases might be treated on an outpatient basis, at home. It is of the utmost importance to contact A Plus Animal Hospital and our staff to discuss your dog’s condition and decide the proper course of treatment.

4. The route of infection is still unknown – the current data suggests this illness spreads from contact with a contaminated environment. It can spread through the use of shared bedding and equipment or through human contact (people touching and handling sick and healthy animals, back and forth). It seems that dogs that have contact with other canine population have a better chance of contracting this infection. But to remind you one more time, the causes of this ‘outbreak’ are still unknown.

5. What should you do? – If your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, please call us at 852-4300. Prompt treatment gives your dog a better chance of a quick recovery. Even if it turns out to be something minor, you can have peace of mind knowing that your dog is healthy and taken care of. There is no vaccine at this time for Circoviruses. Also, there is no evidence to date that this virus can be transmitted to you from your dog.

Please contact us with more questions or concerns. We will keep you updated on this ‘outbreak’ as soon as we have more information.