A dangerous virus makes it way to dogs - WRBL

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A dangerous virus makes it way to dogs

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

A dangerous virus has made its way to man's best friend. It's called the circo-virus and if left untreated could be fatal for your pet. We're on your side with what precautions you should take. Local veterinarians say dog owners shouldn't panic about the virus but the quicker you respond to symptoms, the better off your pet will be.

"It's a new virus that they've located in dogs recently," said Veterinarian Kim Glass.

While the virus has been around in pigs and birds for a while, only since June 2012 has it been found in dogs. And it can have some deadly consequences for the animals. Local veterinarian Kim Glass said it's been known to cause bleeding disorders and vasculitis, which is inflammation of the blood vessels. Dr. Glass said the quicker you respond to symptoms, the easier it'll be to treat the virus.

"This particular virus is supposed to cause a lot of vomiting. They lose a lot of fluids and electrolytes and it can cause some vascular damage and things like that so the quicker you can get to your veterinarian the better chance they'll have of surviving," said Dr. Glass.

Reports say that dogs who are frequently boarded or spend a lot of time with big groups of dogs are most susceptible.

"They defecate or they urinate and then another dog just naturally goes over to smell it and if they're carrying the virus and happen to lick part of that, I know it sounds awful but dogs do that kind of stuff, then that's the way it can spread," said Dr. Glass.

He suggests keeping a boarding area as clean as possible to cut down on the spread of viruses.

"You can't beat the good ole Clorox and water. 1 part Clorox to 30 parts water for clean up," said Dr. Glass.

He said there is a big of good news. If you notice symptoms quickly and bring your dog to the vet, the virus should respond to supportive therapy like any other virus and shouldn't cause long term damage.

There haven't been any reported cases so far in Georgia or Alabama. Doctors are still learning more about the virus like what causes it, and how exactly it's transmitted.

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