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Potentially deadly virus could affect dogs in Wisconsin

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Potentially deadly virus could affect dogs in Wisconsin

By Michele Fiore. CREATED Sep 27, 2013

RACINE - A deadly new virus is attacking dogs.  So far, it has been detected in Ohio and California, and one more is suspected in Illinois.

It's called circo-virus and in the past, it was known to only be diagnosed in pigs and birds.  This month though, circo-virus killed a handful of dogs in Ohio and California.
 
"Well what we're finding is that in fact, you see a lot of co-infections.  So it's not as isolated as we once thought," said Dr. John Beltz, a veterinarian in Racine.
 
Because circo-virus is new to dogs, the state of Wisconsin has not been testing for it.  So it's unclear whether circo-virus has made its way into Wisconsin.
 
Veterinarian Dr. John Beltz of Racine says its symptoms are similar to parvo-virus which is seen in Wisconsin.  Those symptoms include a bloody diarrhea and vomiting.  A dog may also be lethargic.
 
Steve Mudrak of Racine noticed those symptoms in his five-month-old puppy Stormin' Norman last week.
 
The Mudraks noticed the German Shepherd mix home wasn't playing with his toys, and then, he began to get very sick.
 
"He had diarrhea and he was vomiting, he wasn't holding nothing down and that was scary," said Mudrak.
 
The Mudraks brought Norman to the 24 hour clinic run by Dr. Beltz and nearly a week later, he's feeling better.
 
It remains unclear exactly what causes circo-virus to spread.  Dr. Beltz says if your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, get treatment sooner rather than later.  The dogs that have survived, so far, in Ohio, all got early treatment for circo-virus.
Michele Fiore

Michele Fiore

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Michele Fiore joined TODAY’S TMJ4 in 2013 after spending two years as a part-time reporter/anchor for our sister station, Newsradio 620 WTMJ.