Pet owners offered tips for canine coronavirus

A VET has confirmed how racing greyhounds in the Bundaberg area who tested positive for the canine coronavirus, contracted the disease.

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC)’s veterinary services and animal welfare director Dr Martin Lenz said canine coronavirus spreads between dogs coming in contact with an infected dog’s faeces.

“The virus will also spread between dogs via faeces-contaminated clothing, shoes and implements,” Dr Lenz said.

“Resident dog owners can take steps to protect their dogs by ensuring that there is no contact between their dog and an infected dog, or between their dog and such faeces-contaminated objects.”

Dr Lenz said racing greyhounds and breeds that travel interstate regularly, were at risk of contracting the disease.

“Racing greyhounds and other breeds of dogs move freely interstate and across Australia each day,” he said.

“Canine coronavirus is highly infectious, making it highly likely that the virus was spread to Bundaberg greyhounds by such dog movement or via a person closely associated with such a dog.”

Dr Lenz said while the strain is not related to the novel coronavirus outbreak causing respiratory illnesses in people, it was important that all pet owners monitor their dogs for the symptoms.

“It’s important that all those in contact with this virus understand that there is the potential for the virus to be transmitted on clothing and equipment and they should take precautions when handling both healthy and sick dogs within the kennel,” he said.

“Greyhound trainers have been advised to take extra hygiene and biosecurity measures in consultation with their veterinarians.”

If dogs are showing symptoms including lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea and a temperature above 39.5◦C, they should be taken to a vet immediately.