Circovirus in dogs

What exactly is circovirus, and what steps can you take to ensure your dog doesn’t “catch” it?

Many people are worried about circovirus causing diarrhea because the internet virally spreads information like this about viruses! Most importantly – do not worry. It is really not a big issue. Now for a few facts:

  1. The Departments of Agriculture say the California, Ohio and Michigan (April, august and September 2013) cases were not caused by circovirus.
  2. There are a large number of organisms reported to cause diarrhea in dogs, including enteric coronavirus, Cryptosporidium spp, C. perfringens α toxin, Giardia spp, Salmonella spp, Campylobacter jejuni, or Campylobacter coli, E. coli. These are often found in healthy dog’s stool. When looked for in one study, Circovirus was found in 19 of 198 dogs with diarrhea, and 14 of 204 dogs. Most stools had multiple organisms.
  3. One difference with circovirus is that it may cause vascular problems, so veterinarians do need to be aware of that potential. Again, it has not been shown to cause problems in any dogs yet.
  4. There are many different circoviruses and the porcine one seems to be most closely related to the one found in dogs. Not a lot is known about most of these circoviruses.
  5. How did the virus appear? Porcine trypsin was used to make a vaccine for the human rotavirus and a California lab discovered circovirus in that human vaccine so it was suspended by FDA. Possibly that has happened with an animal vaccine or drug. We really do not know.
  6. More information can be found at the AVMA website:

Focusing on causes of illness from the outside misses the joy of true health. While a very healthy individual can certainly become “infected” they usually recover quickly. Our goal is to maximize our health — discover what we and our animals each need to be as healthy as possible — not to worry much about new viruses.