Researchers: 2 cases of new dog virus in Mich. - WNEM TV 5

Researchers: 2 cases of new dog virus in Mich.

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Researchers at Michigan State University say two cases of a newly identified dog virus have shown up in Michigan.

The Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health says it found canine circovirus in samples from two dogs submitted by veterinary clinics. But acting director Thomas Mullaney says both animals were infected with other organisms, so it's uncertain whether the virus caused their sicknesses.

Veterinarians at a clinic in Ann Arbor say they've treated a number of dogs that died after exhibiting symptoms of the virus, including vomiting and diarrhea.

But the university center says the reports are no cause for panic. It says veterinarians should look for circovirus in animals only after ruling out more common causes of the same symptoms.

Canine circovirus was first reported in 2012.

Vets say the virus is similar to the circovirus and has already killed six dogs in metro Detroit. Vets say dogs usually experience flu-like symptoms.

But this virus acts fast, and can kill a dog less than a day after symptoms start showing up.

Most dogs that contract the disease shows signs like barking, crying, non-movement, lack of appetite and blood in their stool.

And even scarier, owners who are sick with flu-like symptoms could be passing it on to their canines.

Both doctors and vets say it is important to wash your hands.

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Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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