You may have seen reports on social media or pet websites about a nasty vomiting bug spreading amongst UK dogs. Here is everything you need to know.
What Causes It?
We don’t know yet! It could be caused by bacteria, a toxin or it may just be a strange coincidence that a lot of dogs have all fallen ill at the same time. One theory suggested vaccines as a potential cause but reports indicate that both vaccinated and unvaccinated dogs have been affected. The most probable cause is a virus.
My Dog Has Vomited, Should I Worry?
Dogs vomit – fairly frequently! In the vast majority of cases it’s because they have eaten something that doesn’t agree with them and they usually recover quickly. In other more serious cases, dogs may have been exposed to poison or have ingested a foreign body and will require a trip to the vet.
What Are The Symptoms Of This Vomiting Bug?
Dogs struggling with this condition vomit unusually forcefully and repeatedly, often with what has been described as ‘projectile’ force. The vomiting may occur five or more times within 12 hours, often stopping overnight and then starting again the next day when the dog takes a drink. The vomiting is often accompanied by ‘gravy-like’ diarrhoea.
Another unusual symptom is that affected dogs stay unwell for much longer than you would normally expect following a vomiting episode. Affected dogs can refuse food for some time after the vomiting has stopped, frequently taking between 5 and 10 days to recover.
Dullness and lethargy for 2-3 days after the vomiting starts, has also been reported.
Is it Contagious?
At the moment there is no suggestion that people or other animals can catch this illness. It’s just affecting dogs.
There is some evidence that dogs might be passing it to one another. This hasn’t been proven though because it may simply be that two affected dogs were both exposed to the same toxin or bacteria.
What Should I Do If I Suspect My Dog Has It?
Seek advice from your vet. The good news is that dogs can be effectively treated and make a full recovery. If your dog has been affected, The Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) want to hear from you.
SAVSNET is a veterinary research organisation who have been monitoring the outbreak through an online questionnaire. If your dog has experienced this illness, please go to their website and submit your details.
If you have any concerns over your dog’s health or wellbeing, please get in touch.
St Kitts Veterinary Centre: 01252 844044
Basingstoke Veterinary Centre: 01256 844944
Crookham Park Veterinary Centre: 01252 913990
Firgrove Veterinary Centre: 01252 877799