New disease in dogs could be deadly

By Jodi Mohrmann, Managing editor of special projects, jmohrmann@wjxt.com
Published On: Apr 03 2014 05:41:01 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 06 2014 12:00:00 AM EDT

There's a new disease lurking at the dog park. Canine Circovirus, also called Dog Circovirus, was discovered in 2012 but researchers are still trying to figure out how dangerous this disease is.

Tests developed at the Kansas State Diagnostic Laboratory can identify Circovirus in your pup. While some dogs do show sypmtoms like diarrhea and even death, others confirmed as carrying the pathogen are healthy. It's suspected that Dog Circovirus was responsible for the deaths of some dogs last year.

"Especially last year in Ohio and California, some dogs died of diarrhea and they couldn't figure out the causing agent because those routine diagnostics could not pick up any pathogens that are potentially causing the diarrhea deaths," said Kansas State University Molecular Diagnostician Dr. Jianfa Bai.

Researchers at Kansas State are using this new test to find out if Circovirus is actually causing deaths in dogs or if it is from a combination of Circovirus and another disease.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the route of infection is still unknown, but the basic principles of viral spreading suggest that direct contact with an infected dog or its vomit or diarrhea would present a higher risk of infection.  There is no evidence to date that this virus can be transmitted to you from your dog.

The AVMA adds if your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, contact your veterinarian. Dogs with diarrhea and vomiting could have a range of diseases, some of which can be life-threatening unless diagnosed and treated early. 

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