A gastroenteritis outbreak is currently affecting dogs throughout the UK, according to experts who are advising pet owners to be as vigilant as possible.
The virus causes dogs to experience diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach pain.
Dr John Rosie, from Derbyshire, says he has seen an increased number of gastroenteritis cases in dogs within the last two weeks.
“There has been a higher number of cases although we don’t have the exact diagnosis of what the cause is yet,” Dr Rosie told Derbyshire Live.
“The dogs seem to be responding to the treatment we are giving them.”
Dr Rosie has been treating around five dogs with the virus each week, and suspects that the bug will continue to spread across the country.
What is gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and intestines. This can lead to discomfort, pain, diarrhoea and vomiting and can be very infectious.
It can be caused by infection with bacteria, viruses, parasites, or reactions to medications or new foods.
Symptoms to watch out for
Animal health company Zoetis explains that “gastroenteritis will often come on rapidly and is characterised by a sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
“Food and bile are typically vomited, although small amount of blood may also be present. Affected pets are usually not interested in food and may feel unwell.
“You should consult your vet if your dog shows signs of gastroenteritis.”
How to prevent it
In order to try to prevent gastroenteritis in dogs, owners are advised to ensure vaccinations and worming are both up to date.
“Vaccinating your pet regularly will also protect them against several serious viral diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract, such as parvovirus infection,” add Zoetis.
“[Worming your dog] at least four times a year with a broad spectrum intestinal worming preparation, together with flea control to prevent some intestinal worms is essential.”