OKLAHOMA CITY - A new canine virus, Circovirus, has dog owners worried across the country and here in Oklahoma.
Some cases have resulted in the death of the affected dogs.
There is a lot of uncertainty among vets about this Circovirus.
In some cases it has started with flu-like symptoms like nausea, abdominal pain, coughing and sneezing but quickly turned deadly.
It's claimed the lives of dogs in Ohio and Michigan, thousands of miles away but Kevin Janecke said that's still too close.
"It scares the bajeebers out of me,” Janecke said.
Janecke is legally blind and depends on his buddy, Alvin, for everything
"They're more important to me than people are," Janecke said.
When he received an email warning him about a new deadly canine virus, he went to local veterinarians for answers but couldn't find any.
Harvest Hills Vet Hospital's Dr. Mark Reser is keeping his ears to the ground and trying to stay ahead of the Circovirus, but said there are still so many unanswered questions.
"We feel a little bit uncomfortable,” Reser said. “We don't know all of the symptoms that might go along with it."
If he's feeling uncomfortable then he said he knows dog lovers are as well.
He said the Circovirus may be causing the dog's blood vessels to swell and it certainly could be deadly but he said because it is so new, this isn't a time to panic, just to be cautious.
“You shouldn't get overly concerned with taking tons of precautions,” Reser said. “Until we know more about it we are unable to do very much."
Janecke's love for dogs has him urging doctors just like Reser to get ahead of this virus.
He said not to wait until it arrives in Oklahoma.
"I'll do without food to take care of my dogs,” Janecke said. “They are that important to me. We chose them, they didn't really choose us."
Dr. Reser said to look for flu-like symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and coughing and see your vet immediately.
There is currently no vaccination for Canine Circovirus but Reser said vets can treat the illness if your dog is seen soon enough but right now there is no way to prevent catching the virus.
The following is recommended:
- Wash your hands frequently, especially following contact with any animals or after picking up feces.
- Do not allow any dog to lick your face.
- Avoid areas of fecal contamination and dog parks.
- Avoid unhealthy or unvaccinated animals.
- See your veterinarian regularly for health exams.
Please pass this information on to anyone you know who lives with a dog.