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Clare County Animal Control warns public of mystery virus killing dogs in northern Michigan

Dog playing outside
Posted at 12:29 PM, Aug 22, 2022

LANSING, Mich. — The Clare County Animal Control director is warning the public about a mysterious virus, which has similar symptoms to the canine parvovirus, that is killing dogs within three days of symptoms.

The Clare County Cleaver reported about this mystery virus on Friday after speaking with Clare County Animal Control Director Rudi Hicks.

Hicks told the Cleaver that the virus was found in Otsego County first and there were 20 cases. All 20 dogs, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, died. Hicks said there have been eight dogs infected in Clare County so far. The dogs were tested for Parvo, but the tests came back negative.

"We took a dog down yesterday for necropsy that just died of it but don't have the results back," Hicks told the Cleaver.

Hicks also told the Cleaver that she believes the virus came from Louisiana and could be everywhere in Michigan.

Hicks then spoke at the Clare County Board of Commissioners meeting on Aug. 17.

“There is a new virus in Michigan that’s affecting dogs,” she said at the meeting. “We thought we were fine; we had not had any deaths. As of today, from last Thursday [Aug. 11] until now, we’ve had over 30 dogs die of a virus, a disease – not at the shelter – in the county. It mimics Parvo, so it’s vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and they all died within three days, vaccinated dogs and unvaccinated dogs.”

One of the dogs has been sent to Michigan State University for a necropsy to run tests. Hicks said that this could be a new strain of Parvo that the tests don't pick up or something different.

“So, we should get results, but just a warning to the public: Keep your dogs home, don’t take them to dog parks, don’t walk them,” Hicks said.

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