Dog owners are being warned about the spread of an unpleasant bug, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and blood in stools.
There has been an increase in cases of the condition seen at veterinary practices across the UK.
The bug - which is suspected to be gastroenteritis - is causing dogs to vomit for days, and suffer excessive diarrhoea and blood in their stools. This has prompted vets to warn owners.
Some dogs have been reported as vomiting for more than five days in a row as a result of the illness.
What are the symptoms of the bug?
Symptoms of the bug include:
Prolonged vomiting for five days or moreDiarrhoea and blood in stoolsDog appears run down or lethargicDogs going off their food
Emily Nightingale, of the Forge Veterinary Centre on Head Street in Halstead, Essex, who Essex Live reports has been a vet since 2007, has warned pet owners to watch out for these symptoms after having seen an increased number of dogs who were suspected to have the bug.
Ms Nightingale said, "We have seen more dogs coming in suffering with vomiting and diarrhoea in the last week - double the amount expected for this time of year.
"Most vets see one dog a day with vomiting and diarrhoea, so when you start seeing dog after dog with it, it becomes a worry.
"I rung around some local practices to see if there had been anything similar. Ardmore in Sudbury had, so we thought the next step is to make people aware.
"The dogs that responded best to the treatment are the ones that had treatment the quickest. We must have a bug going around, because all our patients have been wormed, which leaves bacteria and viruses to be the only cause.”
The bug - which is suspected to be gastroenteritis - is causing dogs to vomit for days, and suffer excessive diarrhoea and blood in their stools (Photo: Shutterstock)
How is the dog diagnosed?
Ms Nightingale explains that your pooch’s history will be explored in depth, alongside a physical examination, which involves taking the dog's temperature, and then a blood test.
Then, depending on the results, X-rays and ultrasound scans can be taken.
What is the treatment for the bug?
Most dogs are given anti-sickness medication, but in the most serious of cases, intravenous drips will be administered.
This suspected bug has also been reported at a number of locations across the country, including Liverpool, Norfolk, and The Forge Veterinary Centre’s sister practice, named The Aldham Veterinary Centre, located near Colchester.