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Vets are warning dog owners to be vigilant as an unusally high number of cases of gastroenteritis are reported across the UK.
The condition causes profuse vomiting, lethargy and diarrhoea, but the frequency and persistence of the vomiting in recent cases is a lot higher than is typically seen.
Reports of dogs suffering similar symptoms have been made in Mid Argyll, particularly in Ardrishaig and Lochgilphead.
One concerned dog owner took to Facebook to warn others in the area. She said: ‘It seems there are at least four dogs that have been very sick in the Ardrishaig area within the last two weeks. Unsure of the exact cause, but maybe keep an eye on your dogs in case it is something they are picking up/standing on.’
With more dog owners, whose pups were similarly suffering, commenting on the original post it began to lead to speculation of what might be the cause. Some suggested it could be from the use of grit on pavements, dogs drinking from puddles or dog poo that has not been lifted by owners.
While not proven to be linked, there has been an increasing problem of dog fouling along the canal bank.
A spokesperson for Scottish Canals said: ‘The situation has become increasingly bad, particularly between lock two and five of the Crinan Canal. Scottish Canals provide dog bins on both sides of the canal and we ensure these are emptied on a regular basis.
‘Dog fouling affects grass cutting and maintenance and can often become a danger to boats throwing lines up which perhaps land on the mess. We encourage people to walk along the canal but dog owners need to take responsibility for the mess their pets leave behind.’
Contrary to the speculation online Dalriada Vets’ Fiona Campbell said online: ‘Several vets across the country are reporting an increase in vomiting in dogs. Some have diarrhoea and are off colour. They usually make a full recovery with routine symptomatic veterinary therapy and advice.
‘As the increase of vomiting cases is across the UK, I do not think it is anything to do with salt/grit on the road or excessive dog fouling along the canal.’
Fiona advised: ‘There is no known risk to people. It is possible affected dogs can transmit the disease to other dogs, so limit contact between affected and unaffected dogs. Older dogs or dogs that have other ailments tend to be hit harder, whereas fit, healthy dogs are bouncing back. Liverpool Vet School is looking into what may be causing this. Dalriada Vets have certainly seen more cases in the last few weeks, but all have responded well to treatment. If you are worried about your dog please contact Dalriada Vets on 01546 602240.’