Confirmed cases of canine circovirus should be a cause for concern, but not alarm, according to local and national veterinarians.
The Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health at Michigan State University confirmed multiple cases of the virus this week, the Detroit News reported. The infected dogs also had other ailments and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is investigating.
The virus, known to infect birds and pigs, was linked in the illnesses and deaths of some dogs in Ohio over the summer, but officials with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) said the matter remains under investigation.
“Although we still have a lot to learn about this circovirus, there’s no cause for panic,” the AVMA website states. “We know that dogs infected with circovirus don’t always become ill, but we don’t know how much of the virus they may shed."
Though exact transmission methods are undetermined, research suggests that direct contact with infected dogs or their vomit or diarrhea present a higher infection risk. But even passive contact, like shared bedding, equipment or through human contact with an infected animal, could be enough.
Some veterinarians urge dog lovers to be vigilant and cautious.
"We have not had any cases at DePorre's or know of any in Bloomfield Hills at this time," veterinarians at the DePorre Veterinary Hospital wrote on its Facebook page. "It would be very reasonable to avoid areas where large numbers of dogs congregate, like dog parks, and seek medical care promptly if your dog shows any signs of illness, especially bloody diarrhea."