Important Advice About Vomiting Bug Affecting Dogs

Important Advice About Vomiting Bug Affecting Dogs

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has issued advice for worried dog owners following a spike in the number of acute gastroenteritis cases being reported in many parts of the country.

Vets
as well as owners have reported cases of dogs being struck by a
vomiting bug, with symptoms including
more frequent vomiting than is usually seen in canine gastroenteritis
cases, accompanied in a few instances by diarrhoea, anorexia and
lethargy.

474
such reports had been recorded via a dedicated University of Liverpool
veterinary surveillance database,
called SAVSNET, since it went live on 30 January 2020. Most cases are
confined to England and Wales, with one in Northern Ireland.

Researchers
looking into the cases report that affected dogs usually make a full
recovery following prompt
veterinary care to treat the symptoms. However, a small number of
deaths have been reported, but it is currently not clear if these are
linked to the condition under investigation.

Responding to the reports, British Veterinary Association President Daniella Dos Santos said:

“We
are aware of a spike in cases of prolific vomiting in dogs being
reported by vets in several parts
of the country. While pet owners are understandably worried, the cases
may be part of a normal increase in gastroenteritis that vets usually
see during the colder months.

“Our advice
to owners is to call their local vet for advice in the first instance
if their dog shows any of these symptoms. If your dog is ill, we’d
encourage minimising contact
with other dogs in the vicinity until veterinary advice has been
sought.

“BVA is
also asking vets to report any cases and controls via a questionnaire on
the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) website, to
help researchers build
a clearer picture of the outbreak and to investigate if the spike is
part of normal seasonal variation or if a specific virus or bacteria is
in play.”

Professor Alan Radford, who is helping to coordinate the SAVSNET-University of Liverpool response, said:

“Data
from vets in practices suggests that gastroenteric disease is unusually
increasing, starting from around
November 2019. When we receive samples (faeces, vomit, saliva) from
dogs that meet our case definition of 5 or more vomiting episodes in a
12-hour period, we will be looking to identify any evidence of an
infectious cause.”

For the latest updates on the cases, and to complete case and control questionnaires, please visit:
https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/savsnet/dog_vomiting_potential_outbreak/

Beth Sanders

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