I'm always looking out for my own dogs (Harry Potter and Refugee Jack), and of course all of the dogs that come in to be featured as Wendy's Pet Of The Week, so I thought I would pass this new information on to all of you so you can help out your K-9 companions, too. There's a new dog virus in Michigan that is causing severe illness in our furry, four-legged friends. 

So far, two cases of the illness have shown up in dogs in Michigan, but according to officials at Michigan State University, it's not clear if any dogs have died from the illness.

Veterinarians at the Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Ann Arbor told the Detroit Free Press that they believe at least four dogs treated at their clinic in recent months died after contracting canine circovirus.

Symptoms include having severely inflamed intestinal tracts, an infected or abscessed pancreas and enlarged abdominal lymph nodes. They also have varying degrees of lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea.

Circoviruses are small viruses that have been known to infect birds and pigs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Canine circovirus was first reported in June 2012, and there is no vaccine for it.

Experts aren't sure how dogs are being infected, although the highest risk of spreading viruses such as these comes through direct contact with an infected animal.

[WZZM-13]