The Otsego County Animal Shelter said in a statement Friday that more than 30 dogs in the county have died from a disease similar to parvovirus, which is highly contagious and often fatal, 24 Hours reported.
The director of the shelter, Melissa Fitzgerald, added that most of the dogs who died were under the age of 2 and lost their lives within three days of showing the first symptoms.
Symptoms are vomiting and blood in the animal’s feces. The disease resembles that of parvovirus. Veterinarians tested the animals for the virus, but their samples were negative, reports BTV.
Canine parvovirus is highly contagious and affects the gastrointestinal tract of dogs, with unvaccinated ones under 4 months of age being at greatest risk, the American Veterinary Medical Association explains.
The disease first appeared in dogs in Europe around 1976, but has become less common thanks to the development of effective vaccines.
It can be spread by direct dog-to-dog contact or contact with contaminated feces or the environment.