Coronavirus could be behind mystery dog illness in UK – media
A mystery illness plaguing dogs across Britain in recent weeks could be caused by Canine Enteric Coronavirus (CEC), a veterinary expert has told The Mirror newspaper.
The first cases were reported on the Yorkshire coastline, where dogs were taken ill after being walked. The disease causes symptoms such as lethargy, diarrhea, and frequent vomiting.
Professor Alan Radford, an expert in veterinary health informatics at the University of Liverpool, has been studying the data and told the UK media that a coronavirus may be the culprit behind the outbreak. Radford, however, noted that an investigation was still ongoing, and no conclusive evidence was available yet. He allayed fears by saying that, despite its ominous-sounding name, the virus has nothing to do with Covid 19 and poses no threat to humans.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool’s Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network have singled out Yorkshire, concluding that “levels of disease have been statistically higher [in that region] than we would expect for three weeks – we can therefore call this an outbreak in Yorkshire.”
It was presumed that most infections had occurred in locations like beaches. However, British Veterinary Association (BVA) President Justine Shotton told BBC 4 there was “no evidence to suggest a direct link between the illness and the dogs visiting the beaches.” In addition, she said there have also been “reports from vets in the area who are really far inland, and they are also seeing an increase in these kinds of cases in dogs that have never been to the beach.”
Pet owners are advised to contact their veterinary practice for advice if they suspect symptoms in their animal companion. Infected dogs should be kept away from healthy ones until they make a full recovery.
The condition will typically resolve itself on its own, and most of the time does not pose a threat to a dog’s life.
However, at least one canine has reportedly succumbed to the outbreak.