Mystery Canine Illness Update

Submitted by Veterinary Wellness Partners on Wed, 09/25/2013 - 6:21pm

Mystery Dog Illness in Ohio

Many people have called with concerns about the "mystery dog illness" that has been reported in the state of Ohio.  Please read the following information to better understand the state of the investigation at this present time.  We have placed some key points in bold lettering to highlight some important areas.  Fortunately there have been no new cases within the past four weeks as of the publishing of this article.  Hopefully the scare is in the past. 

Here is the latest information on the recently reported "Mystery Illness" that was seen in 8 dogs in Ohio.   This information comes directly from the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association and the Ohio Department of Agriculture:

  • Beyond the initial reports involving eight dogs (four in the Cincinnati area and four in Canal Fulton), there have not been any confirmed reports to the Ohio Department of Agriculture of additional dogs becoming ill or dying from the canine illness of unknown origin. A few additional suspected cases have been submitted for testing; however, there have been no confirmed additional instances of the virus at this point.
  • While there has been some suspicion that the unknown illness is caused by a canine circovirus, that has not been confirmed. Information to date points to the possibility of at least some other factor or factors contributing to the illness.
  • At present, how the disease began remains unknown. There is no vaccine or other means of prevention currently known, other than following good hygiene and keeping your dog away from direct contact with the excretions of other dogs.
  • Symptoms of the disease include severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lethargy or weakness. There are a variety of illnesses that can produce some or all of these symptoms, so their presence in your dog does not necessarily mean it has acquired this unknown illness. All evidence suggests that owners who seek treatment from a veterinarian quickly from the onset of the symptoms significantly enhance survival and recovery. Without treatment, the time from initial signs of illness to death is believed to be only three to four days.
  • A variety of erroneous information regarding the unknown disease has appeared on the Internet. The best source of accurate information on this and all aspects of your pet’s health is your veterinarian.


We feel that routine, common sense should prevail in this case.  Perhaps the media, in an attempt to inform people, has created a panic that is premature and unnecessary.  We are of course concerned about any and all animals that become sick.  Preventive measures include keeping your pet out of unsanitary conditions and away from the excrement (feces) of other animals.  Many infections can be contracted from direct contact with the fecal matter of other animals.  This includes canine parvovirus and intestinal parasites, some of which can also be spread to humans (zoonotic disease). 

We recommend that any animal that is experiencing signs of illness be evaluated by one of our veterinarians as soon as possible.  Early detection and early treatment always provide your pet with the best chance of recovery.  As always, we are proud to offer the best in veterinary care to our patients and their owners in the Orrville, Dalton, Marshallville, Wooster, Rittman and surrounding areas.  We look forward to helping you and your pet.

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