Vomiting Bug

There have been reports of a vicious vomiting bug in the UK and our Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Jill Crawford, discusses everything you need to know.

What is this vomiting bug?

You may read in the press about a particularly severe vomiting bug which is being seen in the UK currently. Vets at Liverpool University are working hard to try to identify the cause, and vets in practice are able to send samples to them, under certain terms and conditions.

My dog is vomiting, how can I tell if it’s this and not something else?

If you have a dog which vomits for a prolonged period (over 24 hours) we advise you to phone the surgery to make an appointment. It is reported that the affected dogs are vomiting in spells of 4 to 8 times over 10 minutes and throughout the day. The vomiting may stop overnight but then start again in the morning with the same ferocity. However we would always recommend any prolonged spells of vomiting or diarrhoea be checked by a vet.

Are there other symptoms?

The symptoms are severe vomiting, which is prolonged , a loss of appetite which can persist for several days and a ‘gravy like’ diarrhoea.

What can I do if my dog is affected?

Treatment will depend on many factors relating to the individual but in some cases may involve fluid therapy, blood tests and other medication to control the vomiting.
Not all vomiting dogs will have this condition, and there is no known risk to people. If you have a dog which vomits for a prolonged period (over 24 hours,) we advise you to phone the surgery to make an appointment, and if feasible, keep your dog in the car until your appointment is called to avoid spreading it to other pets. If that’s not possible, let our staff know so they can let you wait in a separate area.

How many cases have been reported?

So far 474 cases have been reported to SAVSNET. The main locations are throughout England and Wales, however a few cases have been noted in Northern Ireland and a few in Scotland.

How serious is it? Could my dog die?

Most of the 474 reported cases have made a full recovery but 4 dogs have died. Do be aware that SAVSNET can be sure if the 4 dogs died because of this bug so whilst we exercise caution, we do not recommend panic, this is just for our clients attention to be vigilant.

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