Dog owners are being warned after 500 cases of a serious sickness bug, acute gastroenteritis, have been diagnosed in pets around the UK – and it's continuing to spread.
Causing pups to vomit "profusely", the bug has seen some dogs hospitalised. While it's not confirmed what is causing the sickness, many owners have complained about their pups falling ill after heading out for a walk.
Exmouth is the latest area to see dogs affected, but the bug has also been recorded in areas including Devon, Cornwall and Wales.
The symptoms to look out for include...
- Painful tummy
- Loss of appetite
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is warning dog walkers about the rising number of cases reported, asking them to head to the vet immediately if they notice anything wrong.
"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," Daniella Sos, from the BVA tells Cornwall Live.
"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."
One Exmouth-based dog owner, Alison Parry, was walking her two dogs outside when they both fell sick unexplainably. "There's obviously something going on down there for it to be reoccurring. I have walked dogs there for 10 years and there's never been a problem," Alison told Devon Live.
"After their walk last Friday, Buzz was sick first and then Woody. We knew it wasn't something they had eaten as they always eat the same things. Dogs can dehydrate quickly and by Saturday they were both quite poorly so we took them to the vets and they both had anti-sickness injections. We have kept them in for two days.
"If anyone's dog is being sick we have been told the advise is to seek veterinary attention. The symptoms include severe vomiting, lethargy and diarrhoea," she continues.
What is acute gastroenteritis?
Acute gastroenteritis is a term used to describe the inflammation of the stomach, which causes painful vomiting and diarrhoea. According to the Blue Cross, some of the main causes include...
- Eating unusual or spoiled food
- Viruses/bacteria (such as parvovirus)
- Underlying health problems such as liver or kidney disease (more likely in older pets)
❗️If your dog shows any signs of acute gastroenteritis, it's vital you head to your local vet as soon as possible to get them treated❗️
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