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New dog virus can be deadly

(Toledo News Now) -

Local animal shelters and veterinarians are keeping an eye out for a deadly virus that's been impacting dogs in parts of Michigan and Ohio.

"It seems to be affecting them pretty fast. They become lethargic and sick within a quick period of time," said Dr. Brent Couts.

It's a new virus that's hitting dogs throughout the country.

"The reports right now are mainly gastrointestinal with vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes bleeding along with that diarrhea," explained Couts.

If untreated, the virus could kill an infected dog in just days. That's why local veterinarians say they're watching for symptoms at their clinic and local shelters.

"Any new dogs that come in, we're isolating them, and monitoring them for signs of disease, prior to introducing them to a new population of dogs," said Couts.

So far there have been no reports of dogs with the virus around northwest Ohio, but it has been identified in cities as close as Ann Arbor.

"It's something that we want to take the most precaution that we can on preventing the spread, and addressing it quickly," said Couts.

Experts say this virus is so new, they're still trying to figure out exactly how it spreads. Still, doctors say it's always a good idea to wash your hands, especially if you're sick or have been around other animals.

"You want to take care in what you bring home to your own pets," said Couts.

If your pet experiences any of these symptoms, take them to the vet as soon as possible.

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