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    Mysterious Michigan dog illness identified by state officials

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    The mysterious illness that has sickened and killed dozens of dogs across Michigan has been identified by state officials as canine parvovirus.  

    The announcement from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development comes after one animal shelter in Ostego County reported at least 30 animals falling victim to the illness, despite testing negative for it. 

    Canine parvovirus spreads through fecal matter and includes symptoms such tiredness, loss of appetite and diarrhea. 

    DOZENS OF DOGS KILLED BY MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS IN MICHIGAN 

    The disease primarily affects elderly canines and dogs below the age of 2. 
    (iStock)

    “Canine parvovirus is a severe and highly contagious disease in dogs, but the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and veterinary professionals have extensive experience with this virus,” State Veterinarian Nora Wineland said in a statement. 

    “We have a highly effective vaccine available to help protect dogs from the virus. Dogs that are not fully vaccinated against this virus are the most at risk,” she continued. “Dog owners across Michigan must work closely with their veterinarians to ensure their dogs are appropriately vaccinated and given timely boosters to keep their pets safe and healthy.” 

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    Michigan officials say a "highly effective" vaccine is available to help protect dogs from canine parvovirus.

    Michigan officials say a “highly effective” vaccine is available to help protect dogs from canine parvovirus.
    (iStock)

    Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory director Kim Dodd described the situation as “complex because although the dogs displayed clinical signs suggestive of parvovirus, they consistently test negative by point-of-care tests performed in clinics and shelters. 

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    “While those tests are valuable in the clinical setting, they are not as sensitive as the diagnostic tests we can perform here in the laboratory,” she added. “We continue to further characterize the virus in hopes of better understanding why those animals were testing negative on screening tests.” 

    The canine parvovirus does not affect other pets, Michigan officials said.

    The canine parvovirus does not affect other pets, Michigan officials said.
    (iStock)

    But Michigan officials also stressed that “Canine parvovirus is NOT contagious to people or other species of domestic animals.” 

    Fox News’ Andrea Vacchiano contributed to this report.

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