Vet advice: mystery dog illness in the UK
There have been a number of articles in the news about a “mysterious” illness sweeping the UK, causing vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs. There’s lots of speculation on this being linked to beaches in North Yorkshire, or beaches across the UK.
What we know so far:
Stomach upsets in dogs are seasonal, and become more common over winter every year. There is nothing out of the ordinary identified as the cause, with the majority of cases believed to be viral infections.
1. Should I be worried?
No more than usual - it is common to see an increase in tummy upsets in dogs over the winter months. Most of these cases will be mild and resolve themselves within a day or two. In a small percentage of cases, pets will need medical care from their vets to help them recover.
2. Do I need to change my walks?
If an area has been linked with an outbreak of vomiting and diarrhoea it would be sensible to avoid walking there for the next few weeks. If poorly pets have been in the area, they may have left traces of infectious agents like viruses and bacteria that your pet can pick up. But just to be clear - it's not the beaches fault! It’s because the area is popular with dog walkers.
3. What should I look for?
Concerning symptoms to watch out for are are vomiting and diarrhoea. They tend to come on quickly. Keep your eyes peeled for:
- Inability to keep water down;
- Sickness lasting more than 24 hours;
- Lethargy (lack of energy, exhaustion);
- Lack of appetite lasting more than 24 hours;
- Blood in vomit or diarrhoea;
- Or if you have a puppy (under a year old).
4. What should I do if I notice these symptoms?
If the symptoms are mild, rest your pet at home. Ensure they have access to clean, fresh water at all times. Give them a light GI-friendly diet (talk to our team about the best options if you're not sure). If your pet is showing more worrying symptoms, then it's best to seek veterinary care.
5. Have you had any calls about it?
Upset tummies are the most common problem we see at Joii. It's hard to say if there's been a change recently because of this. You can take comfort knowing that we have a lots of experience advising on these cases remotely and can contact us if you are concerned.