- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Veterinarians have confirmed the first known case of a rare, deadly dog disease in Iowa.

KCRG-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1IjycOZ ) a 4-month-old black lab named Shadow from Independence was diagnosed with canine dysautonomia, an illness that attacks the part of a dog’s nervous system that regulates many body organs, including the heart and digestive tract. The diagnosis means Iowa now joins a handful of other Midwestern states where canine dysautonomia has been confirmed.

Kathy Finholt, the dog’s owner, says Shadow began displaying symptoms in February, and her condition quickly deteriorated. Shadow was euthanized following a nearly month-long battle with the disease.

Vets say they don’t believe the disease is contagious, yet its exact cause remains unclear. University of Wyoming researchers are exploring a theory that consumption of certain soil is to blame.

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Information from: KCRG-TV, https://www.kcrg.com

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