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26th Jan 2022

Warning issued to all dog owners as mystery virus spreads across UK

April Curtin

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Owners have been urged to contact vets if their pets show certain symptoms

Dog owners have been issued with a warning about a potentially-lethal bug that is spreading amongst pets in the UK.

Vets have reported a higher than usual number of gastroenteritis cases in dogs.

The Friendly Animal Clinic in Sowerby Bridge, Halifax said: “There is indeed a fairly nasty viral infection that is spreading through the entire dog population countrywide.”

In a post on social media, the practice said: “From cases we’ve seen, it is highly contagious from the speed with which it has moved through the canine population throughout the country.”

The clinic said most dogs have required treatment, with some having to be hospitalised. But so far, they have had no dogs die, but understand this has happened elsewhere in the country.

“Don’t wait to ask for a vet’s help and advice,” clinic staff added.[0]=AZWqYqpL-5gmeUhsOFN0K4W16VKKbuQIe061mrWCXDIhj-b2SikPoaL8q6kbChQ3Apv-g31QiTTif14tOEMAlk-zRdI0qe7CX2SaYNDO30NgFKLchKMpRoY9TmDiDtItUSPqL8HJ0apu0ewkhPJijTXs&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R

Dogs have reportedly died recently elsewhere in the UK – potentially as a result of the virus.

One set of heartbroken dog owners told ChronicleLive how their four-and-a-half-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Duke fell victim to the virus and died earlier this month.

Donaldson’s Vets Mirfield Branch in Yorkshire said they’ve also had dogs come in with symptoms vomiting or diarrhoea or both. But this practice is yet to establish whether it is a specific virus causing it.

Meanwhile, surgeries in Manchester and areas further south such as Litchfield reported no more cases than usual.

Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) has issued a warning about a “possible increase in gastrointestinal disease in dogs” and is collecting details on suspected cases.

Owners have been urged to look out for a number of symptoms which could indicate their dogs are suffering with the virus.

Five or more episodes of vomiting in a 12 hour period is one – this can stop for a period (including overnight) and then start again.

Dogs are often unable to keep water down at peak vomiting stage and dogs have ‘gravy-like’ diarrhoea which can be ‘manageable but liquid in nature’.

Owners have been advised to avoid walking or exercising their dogs while they are unwell.

Vets surgeries are urging dog owners to book appointments if their four-legged friend shows symptoms.

SAVSNET said understanding trends in pet diseases is “essential” in responding to possible outbreaks.

The organisation will continue to monitor cases.

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