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BVA issues advice following potential outbreak of vomiting in dogs
Affected cases seem to vomit more frequently than is typical for canine gastroenteritis.

Follows spike in number of reported cases

The BVA has issued advice for dog owners following an increase in reports of acute gastroenteritis across the UK.

On 30 January 2020, the University of Liverpool veterinary surveillance database SAVSNET announced multiple reported cases of prolific vomiting in dogs, sometimes accompanied by diarrhoea, anorexia and lethargy.

It asked veterinary surgeons, nurses and dog owners seeing suspected cases to complete a questionnaire to help monitor the situation.

Since then SAVSNET has recorded 474 reports of the disease from veterinary surgeons, nurses and dog owners. A high number of reports came from North West and Southern England, with a small number of reported cases in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

SAVSNET reports that affected dogs usually make a full recovery with routine symptomatic veterinary therapy. However, a small number of deaths have been reported. It is currently unclear whether these are associated with the condition under investigation.

BVA President Daniella Dos Santos said: “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.

“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.

“BVA is also asking vets to report any cases and controls via a questionnaire on the SAVSNET website, to help researchers build a clearer picture of the outbreak and to investigate if the spike is part of normal seasonal variation or if a specific virus or bacteria is in play.”

Professor Alan Radford from the University of Liverpool said: “Data from vets in practices suggests that gastroenteric disease is unusually increasing, starting from around November 2019. When we receive samples (faeces, vomit, saliva) from dogs that meet our case definition of five or more vomiting episodes in a 12-hour period, we will be looking to identify any evidence of an infectious cause.”

Updates and information on the potential outbreak, along with links to completable case and control questionnaires, are available on the SAVSNET website.

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