Experts have warned that the sudden wave of sickness hitting UK dogs could be caused by coronavirus – but not the one we’re used to.
Research has been carried out looking into the increase in dog sicknesses, the first of which were reported in Yorkshire and Leeds, the Mirror reports.
Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea.
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Professor Alan Radford, an expert in veterinary health informatics at the University of Liverpool, has been working with the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) to try to locate a cause.
The research pointed to Canine Enteric Coronavirus (CEC) as a possible candidate for the infections.
(Image: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home)
Professor Radford said: “In other regions, the increases we have seen so far look more like normal seasonal variation.
“However, such signals can change quickly and we will continue to monitor the situation.”
However, CEC has no relation to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19).
It therefore does not carry any risk to humans – or the dogs families – that come into contact with infected dogs.
There are a number of coronaviruses that are part of the same extended family, though they don’t share any other similarities.
But CEC is a much older virus than Covid-19, and tends to only affect dogs mildly.
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SAVSNET project coordinator Bethaney Brant said of the investigation: “It is likely to be infectious.
“It therefore makes sense for owners and vets to handle suspect cases carefully, and limit contact between affected and unaffected dogs,” she added.
“Thankfully affected dogs usually make a full recovery with appropriate care and there is no known risk to people. Owners of suspect cases should contact their veterinary practice for advice.”
Dog owners whose pets are showing diarrhea and vomiting symptoms can be assured that the problem will probably go away on its own. If the condition continues, seek advice from a vet.
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