LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An illness that has sickened dogs in northern Michigan, killing some of them, was found to be canine parvovirus, a common ailment the affected dogs were not fully vaccinated against, state officials said.

The ailing dogs displayed clinical signs suggesting they had parvovirus but had “consistently” tested negative at veterinary clinics and animal shelters, said Kim Dodd, director of Michigan State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

“While those tests are valuable in the clinical setting, they are not as sensitive as the diagnostic tests we can perform here in the laboratory,” Dodd said Wednesday in a news release.

In an undated image provided by Dave Eagle, Smokey, a 10-month-old silver Labrador retriever who experienced symptoms that left him lethargic. An unidentified illness has been sickening and killing dozens of dogs in Michigan in recent weeks, puzzling veterinarians who are racing to determine whether it’s contagious and if there are treatments, local officials said. (Dave Eagle via The New York Times) — NO SALES; FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH NYT STORY MICH DOG ILLNESS BY MEDINA AND TUMIN FOR AUG. 22, 2022. ALL OTHER USE PROHIBITED. — XNYT138
An unidentified illness is killing dogs in Michigan, officials say (Aug. 22)

She said testing confirming the canine parvovirus infections in affected dogs in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula was done at the university’s lab in Lansing and facilitated by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“We continue to further characterize the virus in hopes of better understanding why those animals were testing negative on screening tests,” Dodd said.

State Veterinarian Nora Wineland urged dog owners across Michigan to work with their veterinarians to ensure that their canines “are appropriately vaccinated and given timely boosters to keep their pets safe and healthy.”

“We have a highly effective vaccine available to help protect dogs from the virus. Dogs that are not fully vaccinated against this virus are the most at risk,” she said in a statement.