The only thing scarier for pet owners than a virus that kills their animals is one of unknown origin and cause. That's the reality now as federal investigators are trying to figure out what's killing dogs in the northern parts of the Midwest.

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The Detroit Free Press is reporting that so far 30 dogs in Michigan have died and they have no idea why. They say that whatever the illness is has canine parvovirus-like symptoms. Marketwatch has also reported on this mysterious outbreak. The other alarming aspect of this is it appears the condition is spreading quickly from dog-to-dog.

What are the symptoms to watch out for?

According to Marketwatch, you should be on the alert for the following in your dogs:

  • Lethargy with little energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea with blood

If your dog has a combination of these symptoms, they advise contacting a vet immediately.

Are people in danger?

While parvo is very contagious between dogs, there's no evidence that this is being passed to people or other animals.

What can a dog owner do to prevent this?

There's no one thing that can prevent this mystery disease or parvo. They advise keeping up with immunizations, don't let your dog be around another dog that appears sick and clean up after your dog when outside.

The American Veterinary Association website has even more tips about how you can best prevent disease spread between dogs while the federal government tries to figure out exactly what's killing them.

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