Canine enteritis can be caused by a number of viral, bacterial or parasitic agents. The most common viral entero-pathogens are canine parvovirus (CPV)  and coronavirus (CCoV), although other agents, such as canine adenovirus (CAdV) type 1, canine distemper virus (CDV), rotaviruses, reoviruses, and caliciviruses, have been associated with enteric disease in dogs. In recent years, novel viruses have been discovered from dogs with enteritis, namely noroviruses, sapoviruses, astroviruses, and kobuviruses. More recently, a dog circovirus (DogCV) was detected in dogs with vasculitis and/or hemorrhagic diarrhoea in the US.
Sixty-eight percent of dogs affected with DogCV had vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, and fluid buildup around the lungs. Before 2012, the only circoviruses reported to infect mammals were the 2 closely related porcine circoviruses (PCVs). PCV2 is the primary pathogen associated with a spectrum of swine diseases called porcine circovirus–associated diseases that have been described in pigs worldwide. DogCV shows many similarities to the porcine circovirus but it is not the same. Dogs infected with circovirus have been reported in California and circovirus may be associated with recent illness and death of dogs in Ohio. The route of infection is still unknown, but the basic principles of viral spreading suggest that direct contact with an infected dog or its vomit or diarrhea would present a higher risk of infection. Circovirus can also infect birds, causing beak and feather disease in psittacines (such as parrots, parakeets, and cockatiels), infectious anemia in chickens, and often fatal infections in pigeons, canaries and finches.
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It is important to note that there is still no evidence to-date that dog circovirus can be transmitted to humans or cause human disease. However, since many pathogens are transmitted from animals to humans, thorough hand-washing should be standard practice after handling animals, especially those showing signs of illness, or animal waste. If your dog is showing signs of illness that don’t resolve within a day or two on their own, make an appointment with your veterinarian. If, however, your pet’s symptoms seem to be severe and/or are rapidly worsening, you should get him either to your vet or an emergency animal clinic immediately.
More about dog circovirus
- Circovirus in Tissues of Dogs with Vasculitis and Hemorrhage. Linlin Li et al.
- Circovirus in Dogs FAQ
- Public Concerns about Dog Circovirus (cvm.msu.edu)
- Circovirus in Tissues of Dogs with Vasculitis and Hemorrhage
- Genomic Characterization of a Circovirus Associated with Fatal Hemorrhagic Enteritis in Dog, Italy