State veterinarian investigating ‘parvo-like illness’ in northern Michigan dogs

A photo of a dog's eyes.
A photo of a dog's eyes.(MGN / Cropped image: latteda / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 1:47 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WNEM) - The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is working to learn more about reports of a canine parvovirus like-illness in northern Michigan dogs.

Canine parvovirus is not contagious to people or other animals and is not a reportable disease to the state veterinarian’s office, MDARD said. Veterinarians should contact MDARD if reportable conditions are seen in an animal.

MDARD is encouraging all dog owners to take the following steps to protect their animals:

  • Keep up with routine vaccinations (especially for those living in or traveling with pets to the northern Lower Peninsula) by ensuring dogs/puppies are vaccinated against canine parvovirus, rabies, canine distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and leptospirosis.
  • Having dogs/puppies fully vaccinated before interacting with other animals will help to keep them healthy and safe.
  • Keep dogs/puppies at home and away from other dogs if they are exhibiting any signs of illness and contact your veterinarian.
  • Be sure to clean up after your pet when you’re walking them out in public.

“We are still in the early stages of this investigation, but some of the first samples submitted to the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory were positive for canine parvovirus. However, there are more results pending and more to be learned,” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM. “When MDARD first learned of these cases in northern Michigan, we immediately reached out to the veterinarians and animal shelters involved and began our response efforts. Protecting animal and public health is one of the department’s key pillars, but it is a team effort. Dog owners need to ensure their pet is up to date on routine vaccinations as it’s the first step in keeping your pet healthy.”

MDARD stated it is working with local animal control shelters, area veterinarians, the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and other partners to learn more about this situation.