Ohio monitoring severe illness affecting several dogs

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is monitoring a serious illness in Norwood, Ohio, that has sickened several dogs and resulted in three deaths, according to WEWS NewsChannel5.

The issue came to light after four dogs fell ill at the Pet Spot in Norwood. The owner of the Pet Spot temporarily closed the dog daycare portion of his facility on Aug. 16, but has kept his boarding and grooming business open, the news reported.

One potential cause of death currently under consideration is hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGH), which could help to explain why the sick dogs have presented with bloody diarrhea and violent vomiting, ODA spokesperson Erica Hawkins told the WEWS.

Michael Della Ripa, an internist at MedVet Cincinnati, said the rapid onset of symptoms is consistent with HGH and could account for the quickly declining health of the dogs that have died or become very sick.

"What's amazing about this condition is that these animals are normal one day and the next day they're extremely sick," Della Ripa said.

Veterinarians from Ohio State University are testing tissue samples to find the cause of death, but no conclusions have been reached to help determine whether quarantines or other measures are needed, said Dr. Tony Forshey, chief of the Division of Animal Health, Ohio Department of Agriculture.

“At this point, we don’t even know if it was an infectious disease or a toxin. It would take something infectious or contagious before we make a move,” Forshey told WEWS.