Tyler veterinarian shares symptoms, details of new fatal canine - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Tyler veterinarian shares symptoms, details of new fatal canine virus

Veterinarians ask pet owners to watch pets closely Veterinarians ask pet owners to watch pets closely
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

There is a new virus that is spreading to dogs across the country. If not treated, health officials said it could kill an infected dog in just days. It is called Circovirus, and while there are no reports of any cases in East Texas, officials said it could be headed this way. 

Sharon Phillips is a veterinarian for the Tyler Veterinary Center. She said since the circovirus is new, there is not a whole lot of information on it just yet.

"They first found that virus in pigs, which causes the same clinical symptoms as a dog, which is why I think they first started testing for it. They don't know any of the transmission, or how this virus came to possibly mutate into animals," Phillips said.

She said experts are still unsure if it can be transmitted from dog to dog or from pig to dog. They do however, know of noticeable symptoms to watch out for.

"The first signs are severe lethargy and appetence, not wanting to eat, and then they start with the blood and the vomit or in the diarrhea," Phillips explained. 

The bad news?

"There is no vaccine for the circovirus that's been found in dogs," said. Dr. Blake Bextine, Associate Professor of Biology at University of Texas at Tyler. 

"Research that has been done on this virus has indicated that it may not be the primary cause of mortality in pets," he explained. 

These health experts said you can have your dog tested for the circovirus, but since there is no vaccine, they have to treat symptomatically, and the sooner you get your dog treated, the better. 

"We don't know exactly how devastating this virus is from a mortality perspective, so making sure that your pet is healthy would be the best thing that you can do," Dr. Bextine said. 

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved. 

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