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A mysterious disease affecting up to 150 dogs in Yorkshire is believed to be spreading across England, with cases in Devon and Cornwall and the North East.
The disease was initially thought to have originated from a specific set of beaches on the Yorkshire coast, but the potential virus has also been picked up by dogs in the inland, north-east and south-west.
What are the symptoms of the mysterious canine disease?
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Dogs across the UK have been affected by the mysterious disease. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Friday January 14, British Veterinary Association President Justine Shotton confirmed the disease, claiming that the symptoms are similar to gastroenteritis.
This is a common human disease that causes symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting caused by a bacterial or viral pathogen. Dogs that might have the condition also suffer from dehydration, general weakness, and weight loss.
Gastroenteritis is nothing new to veterinarians either, but this disease seems to be spreading faster than usual.
Most cases are mild at first and dogs should be able to recover within a few days, although some affected dogs may need hospital treatment.
What should I do if my dog gets sick?
All advice regarding dogs showing symptoms is for the owner to contact their veterinarian for immediate treatment.
What is the cause of the mysterious disease?
Vets are unsure of the cause of the disease at the moment. It was initially thought that cases were linked to a beach, but the spread of cases has shown this to be untrue.
Cases were first reported on the Yorkshire coast, from Redcar to the lower reaches of the East Riding of Yorkshire, although further cases of ill-health dogs have been found inland alongside other coastal regions.
dr Shotton, from the British Veterinary Association, added: “While pet owners are understandably concerned, the cases could be part of a normal increase in gastroenteritis that vets are seeing in the colder months. We saw something similar a few years ago and the latest data from the University of Liverpool’s veterinary surveillance database suggests the increase is part of normal seasonal variation.”
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