LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The number of dogs suspected of dying from a new parvo-like illness has now doubled in Northern Michigan, going from 30 to 60 in just days.
This jump has prompted state officials to investigate the unidentified illness that is mostly impacting dogs under the age of two.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is continuing their testing to learn more.
According to state officials, one of the best ways to keep your pet safe is by making sure they’re up to date on vaccinations. They say this will decrease the chances of your pet getting the severe illness.
“It’s going to be those unvaccinated ones that put them in the greater category for this serious illness and or higher risk for potential death,” said Dr. Jennifer Calogero, assistant state veterinarian with the MDARD. “It’s working with your veterinarian to make sure you vaccinate as quickly as possible for the dog’s life.”
This illness is highly contagious to dogs only, it isn’t transmittable to humans.
State officials say to make sure to clean up after your pet, and not allow them to come in contact with other pets’ waste.
If your dog does however start to show signs of the illness, state officials advise keeping them away from other dogs and calling your veterinarian immediately.
Animal shelters in Northern Michigan who have seen cases say some of the symptoms of this illness include vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody stools.
“We are working very closely with our partners again local veterinary clinics talking to them quite frequently in addition to animal control officers and Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab,” Calogero said. “So we have submitted samples to the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, and a few of the samples we submitted did end up testing positive for canine parvovirus, however, we still have results pending and we still have more to learn regarding the situation.”
MDARD’s investigation into the illness is currently underway, as we find out more details 6 News will keep you updated.