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Vets warn UK pet owners after fears of HGE virus spreading in dogs

Lisa Walden
Photo credit: LisaAlison - Getty Images

From Country Living

Vets are warning pet owners across the UK to take extra care after a harmful virus has been spotted in some dogs.

The virus, which is formally known as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE), strikes healthy dogs without warning. Often causing severe vomiting and bloody diarrhoea, it can be an unpleasant and frightening experience for your pup.

While vets are unsure what causes HGE, scientists believe it could be down to a bacteria which attacks and damages the lining of the gut.

According to the PDSA, symptoms of the virus can include...

  • Pale gums
  • Large amounts of diarrhoea
  • Painful stomach pains
  • Reduced appetite
  • Low energy
  • Vomiting

The PDSA has explained that, while any dogs can get the virus, there are some smaller breeds which are more likely to be affected. These include...

  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Miniature Schnauzers'
  • Maltese

Clinics in areas such as Bristol, Colwyn Bay, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kilmarnock and Reading have seen an increase in the numbers of reported cases in the past year.

One lady took her dog to a hospital in Glasgow after she noticed her pup suffered with diarrhoea and began to lose her appetite. "It was so frightening how quickly it happened," Amanda Lawson said to The Express.

Photo credit: Kerkez - Getty Images

"She is a great big playful dog but almost overnight everything changed and we honestly thought she wasn’t going to make it. It was awful to watch. She started having diarrhoea, became really quiet and went off her food."

One vet said: "We've seen loads over last month in Edinburgh. I think there must be a nasty bug doing the rounds."

Another also commented, saying: "We've had four deaths in young dogs in Colwyn Bay. These were very severe cases. They all seem to present with vomiting and no diarrhoea for 12 hours or so, then have severe haemorrhagic diarrhoea."

Is haemorrhagic diarrhoea serious in dogs?

If left untreated, dogs with the virus are likely to become dehydrated. In severe cases, it can even lead to death. When treated correctly and quickly, your dog will make a recovery in a few days.

Make sure you head to your local vet so that your dog gets the help and treatment they need.

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