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DOG SHOW CRUD VIRUS LET LOOSE
Barbara "BJ" Andrews, Publisher TheDogPlace.org | February 2005
The internet is full of "Dog Show Crud" articles but the first report on the zoonotic outbreak originated here at TheDogPlace.org
WHY we classify the first "dog show crud" outbreak on the 2005 Florida Circuit as a test-tube accident (or test) related to Canine Flu vaccine development at University Of Florida.
The term "dog show crud" is now used to describe other common disease symptoms but in 2005 this site related the "Crud" to the University Of Florida research, development, and eventual release of the canine flu vaccine.
Like parvo virus, the "dog show crud" came out of nowhere and we would be remiss in not mentioning the possibility that it came from a test tube. Back in the late 70s no one would have dreamed of such a thing but today that is the widely accepted belief about "parvovirus". In fact, ii Veterinary Vaccine History is a 10 second eye-opener!
The "dog show crud" term has been misused by the uninformed. The actual outbreak was in central Florida during the 2005 "January circuit." The University Of Florida, only a few miles away, was doing research on what it later introduced as Canine Influenza Vaccine.
So unlike anything exhibitors had ever experienced, it was descriptively called Dog Show Crud. Part virus, part bacteria, hitting people and dogs, the crud was zoonotic and definitely different.
The "dog show crud" is over but like a massive flood, it left wreckage behind, wiping out show plans, laying waste to both dog and man. It swept across the show grounds like a virulent wave. By St. Pete and Tampa, the show site was subdued, the mood worried, frightened.
"The Crud" is extremely aggressive in dogs. As with parvo virus, puppies or immune-compromised adults can be lost within hours of first stage diarrhea. Trips to local vets enriched the Florida economy and show plans were destroyed as either handlers or their dogs were unable to make ring calls.
Dog Show Crud Is Not Parvo!
Due to the rapid and virulent onset, it can be misdiagnosed as parvo or corona virus but it simply doesn’t fit the pattern. The big difference is that antibiotics stops the diarrhea whereas it would have no effect on a virus. Secondly, parvo virus can be so deadly that even the best supportive treatment may not save the dog, it takes days for the animal to completely recover. Dog Show Crud can be reversed within a day if properly treated with antibiotics. Nor does it have the characteristic “decomposing” odor of parvo, perhaps because this virus-bacteria-whatever (!) moves so quickly to hemorrhagic enteritis that the intestinal lining doesn’t slough off as badly.
Dog Show Crud begins with lethargy and lack of appetite, then mucous and blood-tinged but formed stool. It quickly progresses to bloody diarrhea, then no stool - just blood and straining. Dehydration and blood loss can put a dog in shock very quickly. Handlers carry just about everything and shared generously. One adult bitch went to hospital at 8 A.M., received IV fluids and a new anti-bacterial product, quickly improved, but when we went back to get her late that afternoon, two pups were dreadfully sick and went with me to the vet! One potent dose of the new anti-bacterial/good bacteria stuff stopped the diarrhea and sub-q fluids did the trick. Unlike parvo which takes a few days to resolve, Dog Show Crud can be over as quickly as it attacks.
Notably, adults and even puppies nursing from a fully vaccinated dam are susceptible which diminishes the likelihood of parvo. Corona is seldom, if ever, seen in adult dogs whereas Dog Show Crud attacks adults and there have been deaths reported.
Dog Show Crud Is Not Campy Either!
In talking with several vets, the consensus is that it's not Campylobacteriosis (more on campy below) but may be a combination of virus and bacteria hitting simultaneously. Odds are against that however. It had to be zoonotic because dog show crud hit dogs and people equally. I believe it came from a test tube because it was like a “hot virus” that attacks the animal, weakens it, and allows rapid proliferation of bacteria which then results in bacteria-like hemorrhagic enteritis.
One source for Campylobacterium is raw chicken, and it can remain active in feces and therefore could be problematic in kennel conditions. But “campy” or fowl flu alone does not seem to be the Crud culprit any more than e-coli or other common forms of bacteria. It was clearly species-jumping and people and dogs couldn't have all eaten the same food. It was suggested that it might have been contaminated water on the show grounds but many who got sick were only drinking from their onboard fresh water tanks.
The bottom line is simple. Dog Show Crud was not only contagious, it infected people and dogs with the same symptoms and for the same duration. Extremely rare!
Thankfully, the "dog show crud" or "canine flu" that erupted on the 2005 Florida circuit was short-lived and dogs and owners recovered either before leaving the last shows or en route back up the east coast.
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