A MYSTERY bug is sweeping across the UK with reports of dogs falling ill with symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea.
The serious mystery illness has left authorities stumped as to the cause as reports of poorly pets continue to pour in.
Cases involving the two key symptoms been reported across the North East, North West and as far down the country as Devon.
The British Veterinary Association is describing the symptoms as a "Gastroenteritis-like bug" which has been "uncommonly violent."
Initial reports had suggested the bug was being picked up on the region's beaches, but authorities say cases have been reported inland.
Dog owners have been urged not to panic.
But what should you do if you suspect your pet has caught the bug and is showing signs of Gastroenteritis?
The Blue Cross explains that if you believe your dog is suffering from the bug, you should take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.
It says this is to allow a full examination of your dog and to ask you whether your dog has eaten anything unusual or behaved differently.
The key symptoms are:
- painful tummy
- loss of appetite
A spokesperson for the Blue Cross said: "It is important that if your dog displays any of the above symptoms rapidly that you seek vet attention as soon as possible.
"In severe and rare cases, gastroenteritis can lead to death, with young dogs being particularly at risk."
According to Dr Danielle Greenberg of The Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET), monitoring the outbreak, this bug is unusual due to the following symptoms.
- Prolific vomiting of 5 or more episodes in a 12 hour period which can stop for a period (such as overnight) and then starts again
- Dogs are often unable to keep water down at peak vomiting stage
- Anorexia and lethargy for 2-5 days
- Diarrhoea: Most dogs have ‘gravy-like’ diarrhoea
She also said it is highly unlikely that the illness is transmissible to humans.
President of the BVA, Dr Justine Shotton, continued to urge dog owners not to panic if their pets show symptoms and to talk to their vet.
Saying that almost all dogs make a full recovery from this uncommonly violent gastric bug.
She added: "The BVA is asking vets to report any gastroenteritis-like cases to SAVSNET 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 at play."
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