‘Doggy lockdown’ not the answer to sickness cases says Knaresborough vet

A Knaresborough vet has said that they have seen a substantial increase in the numbers of dogs with vomiting and or diarrhoea over the last couple of weeks.

By Janet Harrison
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 3:50 pm
Sick dog
Sick dog

But Jonathan Mills BVM&S MRCVS of Forest House Veterinary Surgery, said he does not think a doggy lockdown is advisable to stop cases rising.

“Vomiting and diarrhoea is very common in dogs anyway but we have certainly seen a substantial increase in the numbers of dogs with vomiting and/or diarrhoea over the last couple of weeks,” said Mr Mills.

He said that the only way to stop the spread was by keeping dogs isolated from others and away from public places where other dogs may have been.

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But he warned: “This would mean no walks or exercise outside their own garden, however, we’re not recommending that.

“Even though the number of infected dogs is higher than usual, it’s still only a very small percentage of all dogs, and most are recovering quickly.

“A doggy lockdown would be disproportionate and cause more problems than it would solve.”

Many dog owners have taken to social media to alert others of illness and say their pets have been struck down with vomiting and diarrhoea. Some have blamed trips to the coast.

“There are many possible causes, but the recent increase in cases appears to be an infectious agent eg a bacterial or viral infection,” said Jonathan, of the York Place veterinary practice.

“The infectious agent, in this case, has not been identified.

“It is unlikely that it will be identified as most dogs recover quickly so there is no need to take samples for laboratory tests.

He added that the signs of gastroenteritis in canines is vomiting and diarrhoea but some may only have one, start with one and then develop the other.

“They may feel a little unwell but aren’t usually seriously ill,” he added.

“In most cases, the dogs will recover in a few days without treatment.

“They should be encouraged to drink normal or slightly increased quantities of room temperature (not cold) water little and often but people don’t need to panic if the dog seems reasonably well in itself and doesn’t want to drink.

“If they are vomiting, don’t offer any food. If they aren’t vomiting then feeding small quantities of a low-fat, easy to digest diet is really important to help the intestines recover.

“If the dog is very unwell or collapsed then it should be seen by a vet.

“There are treatments that vets can prescribe to help them recover more quickly, particularly if they are vomiting.

“If a dog owner is concerned, they should contact their vet for advice.”