Dr. Lindsay Ruland, a veterinarian in Ann Arbor, Michigan has seen several dogs with the symptoms associated with the canine circovirus reported in California and Ohio, including vomiting and bloody diarrhea, quick onset of lethargy, abdominal pain and severe inflammation of the intestinal tract.

“This is like nothing we’ve ever seen before, and I don’t know if it’s multiple viruses in combination or just the circovirus,” reported Ruland.

Ruland said the symptoms began manifesting in dogs at her emergency clinic back in August, when the human flu season started. She reports that several of the owners of the sick dogs also had flu-like symptoms.

After treating the sick dogs, she and some of her staff members also developed flu-like symptoms, including abdominal pain and respiratory issues.

Some dogs get severely ill within hours. Their blood vessels leak fluid and their blood thickens so nutrients can’t get to important organs, Ruland said.

She said her clinic has seen 20 to 30 cases since August and had six dogs die in the past month. She’s also seen the symptoms in a few cats as well.

Experts are not sure if this is related to the canine circovirus was recently found in dogs in Ohio and California.  Ohio issued a warning to veterinarians to be looking for dogs with bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite and neurological problems. At least three Ohio dogs died from the virus and many more became ill with it.

Only two cases of canine circovirus have been confirmed in Michigan so far. Both of the confirmed cases had infections with additional organisms at the same time.  Therefore, experts are unsure if  the symptoms the dogs are from the circovirus alone or if it weakens them to be more susceptible to other infections and even death.

Be sure to report any unusual symptoms in your dog to your veterinarian and any links to human flu-like symptoms.