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Could That Be It? Mystery Illness Causing Dogs to Vomit, Get Diarrhoea Explained

CC BY 2.0 / Flickr / Dominik QN / A sad dog
A sad dog - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.02.2022
Dog owners in the United Kingdom have reported hundreds of cases of their beloved pets suffering from severe vomiting and diarrhoea after enjoying a walk on the beach.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool suggest that a mysterious "outbreak" that has caused unpleasant symptoms among hundreds of UK dogs could have been a strain of coronavirus.
Initially, suspicion fell on the possible pollution of sea water on the beaches that could be behind the acute gastrointestinal disease (GI). Among the symptoms were vomiting and diarrhoea, and at least one dog, described by The Daily Mail as a "fit and strong" Great Dane, has died from what is suspected to be a lung infection after walking on Hayling Island beach near Portsmouth, Hampshire.
The University of Liverpool's Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) within the University of Liverpool said that a similar outbreak targeting dogs was spotted nationwide from January to May 2020. This was at the time when the coronavirus outbreak had started raging, and the so-called canine enteric coronavirus variant was identified.
Now, according to researchers, the case may be similar.

"The GI outbreak of 2022 was associated with a canine enteric coronavirus variant. Using data from participating labs, we again see a seasonality to the diagnosis of CECoV that seems to broadly follow that of the GI seasonality, with the proportion of submitted samples testing positive being highest in the winter," SAVSNET said in its report.

However, the scientists warned that "other pathogens could be involved" in the disease affecting UK pets, noting that more data on the cases is needed to say for sure.
Regardless of the pattern of the disease, the researchers added, it is important that owners who detected the aforementioned symptoms in their dogs "keep it away from other dogs (isolate) at least whilst it is ill and preferably a few days longer just in case it is infectious."
In the event of any concerns regarding the health of a pet, one should immediately contact their veterinary surgeon, SAVSNET reminded.
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