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Michigan dog disease…an update – LexBlog


Quick update on the Michigan dog disease outbreak that I wrote about yesterday and which as attracted a lot of attention.

A report from the State Veterinarian has indicated this appears to be a parvovirus outbreak.

I’m not overly surprised. As I wrote yesterday….

An outbreak of our typical canine parvovirus?

  • This is probably the most likely explanation, or at least the one to rule out first. That will require confirmation that parvovirus is actually the cause in most cases, and investigation of the vaccination status of those dogs.

Further investigation identified canine parvovirus in affected dogs. Initial point-of-care tests for parvo were negative and while we rely on these (generally quite effective) tests a lot, we know that they are not 100% sensitive. The report says those tests were consistently negative, which suggests a reasonable number were performed. That’s interesting since with severe disease and a lot of tests, I’d expect a negative. However, we know that the tests aren’t perfect and that parvo is common, so we don’t jump to rule it out too quickly.

The other key aspect here was vaccination history. Affected dogs were incompletely vaccinated. I covered parvo vaccination issues yesterday too, but it likely means that they were young and not fully vaccinated yet, or hadn’t been properly vaccinated when young.

So, from a population standpoint this is encouraging because it means that there’s not likely something new and our current preventive measures should be effective…they just need to be used.


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