ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A heads-up to pet owners: a deadly dog virus has been detected in Metro Detroit, and it’s one that it could catch from you.
WXYZ reports that there’s not actually a name for the illness yet. Veterinarians say that symptoms are flu-like and include severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and even bloody diarrhea. So far, six dogs Ann Arbor have died within 24 hours of coming down with the illness.
The virus is similar to the Circovirus that started getting dogs sick in California and Ohio last year. It’s unclear exactly how this new virus is transmitted, but it appears that dogs who are sick also have owners that are sick.
“Traditionally we don’t pass viruses to our pets,” Dr. Lindsay Ruland of the Emergency Veterinary Hospital told WXYZ. “This year, I think that there is potential that we are passing it to our pets.”
So far, no humans have died from the illness. However, to prevent the spreading of germs, doctors are recommending people wash their hands and use hand sanitizer on a frequent basis.
Right now, it’s unknown if the virus can spread to other pets. So far, it’s only been reported in dogs.