Vet warns about dog virus sweeping the country

A vet has warned pet owners about a virus that seems to currently be sweeping parts of the UK.

Having a pet can be one of the most wonderful things in life, but it of course comes with its fair share of responsibility.

Not only do you have to make sure they’re fed and sheltered, pet owners also need to look after their best friend’s health and sometimes hidden dangers can lurk where you least expect it – which is why experts are now warning about a bacterial infection that seems to be making dogs ill in some parts of the UK.

The condition is called gastroenteritis, and it causes the swelling of the stomach and intestines and can lead to abdominal discomfort, pain, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Credit: Getty Images

John Rosie, who has been a vet since 2004, told The Derby Telegraph: ‘We see a lot of people in their own home but there has been a higher number of cases although we don’t have the exact diagnosis of what the cause is yet. The dogs seem to be responding to the treatment we are giving them.

‘We mainly cover Belper [town in Derbyshire] but this is just a snapshot is what is going on in the wider area.’

The condition is usually caused by eating spoiled or contaminated food, and as dogs are big fans of exploring – especially what they shouldn’t – it can be hard to keep them away from things that could be dangerous for them.

However, Mr Rosie says keeping your dog’s paws clean after going out could help protect them against the bug.

He said: ‘They should wash and disinfect their dog’s paws after going out walking in case they pick up anything on their feet.’

It comes just a few weeks after the The Veterinary Poisons Information Service, a helpline for pet owners who are concerned their pet has been poisoned, warned against popular cleaning product Zoflora.

Nicola Robinson, a vet and head of service at the Veterinary Poisons Information Service, told The Sun: ‘Zoflora contains a detergent called benzalkonium chloride which is particularly toxic in cats and can cause oral and tongue ulceration, hypersalivation and inappetence.

‘Cats roam between houses and therefore it is hard to keep them away from this product when it is often used to clean patios but owners need to be aware of the risks to animals.

‘They usually lick their paws if they have walked on freshly cleaned floors which then leads to signs of toxicity.

‘Our advice is to use more natural products if you have pets.