Salted with Sharks

What’s Going Around: Canine Circovirus

In Community Alert, Elberta Pets and Their Humans, Health on October 7, 2013 at 6:17 pm

What’s Going Around is the Elberta Alert‘s semi-regular column on human and pet health. Have a tip on what might be going around in the human or pet community, or an idea for a health story? Send an e-mail to Kimm X Jayne at, subject line “What’s Going Around.”


What’s going around this week? Not canine circovirus—at least not yet.

The rare canine circovirus that has killed several dogs downstate appears not to have made it to Benzie County, according to local veterinarians. The virus has symptoms similar to the parvovirus (vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lethargy, weight loss) but can kill within 12 to 24 hours of infection.

Platte Lake Veterinary says they haven’t seen any cases of the circovirus, but have treated dogs with the parvovirus in the last couple of weeks.  (Most dogs under veterinary care have been vaccinated for the parvovirus.)

Betsie River Veterinarian Clinic says that the Michigan Veterinarian Services sent out an announcement on the virus October 4, saying the virus is usually found in dogs who also have some other intestinal infection, like salmonella or giardia. Further, the announcement noted that the circovirus alone does not appear to cause illnesses in dogs (as it is commonly found in healthy dogs too).

If your dog begins vomiting and has diarrhea at the same time, the veterinarians recommend taking it to your nearest clinic as soon as possible. Both the circovirus and parvovirus have very high death rates (in excess of 90%) if not treated.

One other noteworthy feature of the illness is that in several cases the afflicted dog’s owner was sick with flu-like symptoms (including upper respiratory symptoms), before the dog became ill. As your mother said, wash your hands! wash your hands! wash your hands!  Ψ



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