Dog owners are being asked to remain vigilant as gastroenteritis spreads the UK.

The dog sickness bug has already been reported by vets in Gloucestershire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Oxfordshire.

Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and intestines and dogs can catch from bacteria, viruses, such as parvovirus, parasites, medications, or even new food. According to the Blue Cross, underlying health problems such as liver or kidney disease can also cause gastroenteritis and are more likely to affect older dogs and cats.

The most common signs of gastroenteritis in dogs often involve abdominal discomfort alongside pale gums, loss of appetite, low energy, vomiting and diarrhoea (if bloody this indicates a more aggressive form of gastroenteritis called haemorrhagic gastroenteritis).

Vomiting and diarrhoea can result in dehydration, which if left untreated can be very serious.

Dogs usually recover within a few days, but it is especially important to seek advice for very young or elderly dogs quickly. If you spot any of these signs, speak with your vet to share symptoms and put a treatment plan in place.

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