Deadly New Disease Affecting Dogs
Reprinted from the Hartford Courant
By BEAU BERMAN 12:36 am, November 15, 2013
A warning from local vets is being issued to dog owners about a deadly new disease affecting dogs in other parts of the country. It comes on suddenly, and there’s no vaccine to prevent it from killing.
“What we see is a lot of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy,” says Dr. Andrea Dennis of Bloomfield Animal Hospital, describing the symptoms.
Until 2012, the virus was only detected in pigs and chickens. Now, “circovirus” is hitting dogs.
The symptoms are the same as more common viruses like Parvo, but within two or three days, the dog is dead.
Dr. Dennis says it’s especially concerning with holidays coming up, when people board their dogs. “You just don’t know. And you just have to be prepared, that this virus can hit this state at any time,” she says.
While there’s no vaccine yet, circovirus doesn’t have to be a death sentence for a dog. In fact, if they’re brought in early, with supportive care, dogs can be saved.
If you bring your dog to a vet right away, after the first signs of symptoms, they can get IV fluids and avoid dehydration, which Dennis says actually leads to most of the deaths.
As a dog owner and president of Enfield’s Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, Elizabeth Zaccaro is aware of circovirus, even though it’s not yet in Connecticut.
“Most people are anxious about it. It’s going around on Facebook so everybody’s kind of like, ‘Oh my god, what is it?’ ”
Dr. Dennis offers this bottom line to pet owners:
“Don’t wait 24, 48 hours to see if it’s going to get better on its own. That’s the best advice I can really give.”