At least three dogs have died from a rare illness in a matter of days in Ohio. All three dogs experienced violent vomiting and bloody diarrhea and were diagnosed with a severe illness known as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGH).
The Department of Agriculture is currently investigating the outbreak of illness and a fecal sample from one patient has tested positive for canine circovirus, a newly isolated virus. It has not been definitively determined if the virus is the cause of the illness (which mimics parvovirus).
Dog owners should be advised:
1.) If your dog experiences severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea or any foaming at the mouth, contact a veterinarian immediately. Supportive treatment can mean the difference between life and death.
2.) If the disease is reported in your area, avoid places where many dogs congregate. That includes dog parks, popular dog walking locations and possibly dog training sites or dog competitions. The disease has not had a major outbreak in the areas of Ohio where it has been detected, so that suggests that dogs only shed the virus for a short amount of time in their feces. Luckily, an ill dog is not likely to be out and about.
3.) As a general practice, don’t let your dog sniff or carefully check out the feces of other dogs.