Many clients have contacted us about reports of a mysterious illness that has been killing dogs in northern Michigan. We have been monitoring the situation and wanted to give an update on what is currently known:
- At this time, it is believed to be a new strain of parvo virus. Rapid tests for parvo virus at local veterinarians have been negative; but in the few cases where samples were sent to Michigan State’s diagnostic lab for more advanced testing, they were positive for parvo virus. The dogs have been sick with vomiting and bloody diarrhea. All the cases, to date, have occurred in dogs under 2 years of age that were not current on their vaccinations.
- Cats do not get this parvo virus.
- Parvo virus is a very hardy virus that is spread in the feces of infected animals and can last in the environment for years.
At Schoolcraft Veterinary Clinic, we recommend dogs receive the DHLPPC vaccination (the ‘distemper shot’) every three weeks from 8 weeks of age until over 16 weeks of age, then a yearly booster to protect from parvo and other contagious diseases. If your pet is current on vaccinations, they should be protected. If your pet is not up to date on this vaccine, please call our office to schedule a vaccine appointment.
We will continue to monitor the situation and give updates if needed. Thank you for trusting us with your pet’s health care.