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Dangerous virus poses threat to dogs

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A Greenville dog owner hopes her pup Justin stays healthy as he generally is kept away from other dogs. (Nov. 13, 2013/FOX Carolina) A Greenville dog owner hopes her pup Justin stays healthy as he generally is kept away from other dogs. (Nov. 13, 2013/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A dangerous and potentially deadly virus affecting the intestines of canines may be headed to the Upstate, according to a new report.

Scientists in California, Michigan and Ohio fear the circo-virus may be to blame for the deaths of several dogs. Symptoms of the virus include inflamed intestines, vomiting and diarrhea. The disease stems from leakage of blood vessels, or vasculitis, according to Dr. Ann Malphrus, practice owner at North Greenville Animal Hospital.

"The circo-virus is a small virus, it is very common in pigs and causes disease in birds, the one that they have isolated in dogs is not the same virus," said Malphrus.

That is what has veterinarians stumped. Malphrus tells us to her knowledge, scientists have not been able to definitively prove the circo-virus is to blame for recent dog deaths.

"There is a lot of unknown about it, there's a lot of rumor," she told FOX Carolina.

She said the circo-virus was also found in healthy dogs, so it is not exactly clear what is killing the dogs. She said all owners can do is take preventive measures, including keeping pets who are exhibiting symptoms away from other animals. 

She said the disease is prevalent among groups of dogs, such as kennels. It also happens because of fluid exchange.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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