Coronavirus, canine strand: Greyhound breeders and trainers urged to be on alert

HEALTH: Incidents of canine coronavirus are increasing in Queensland, with a warning issued to breeders and trainers. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
HEALTH: Incidents of canine coronavirus are increasing in Queensland, with a warning issued to breeders and trainers. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

INCREASING numbers of canine coronavirus cases have led to a warning for greyhound breeders and trainers to be on alert.

More canine coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Queensland, with the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission (GWIC) encouraging Australia-wide breeders and trainers to monitor the health of their dogs.

"It is important to remember that canine coronavirus is in no way related to the current outbreak of Novel Coronavirus causing respiratory illness in humans," the GWIC said in its alert.

Canine coronavirus symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy

"If a greyhound is showing these symptoms, participants should seek immediate veterinarian advice," the GWIC urged.

"Veterinary clinics are also encouraged to conduct laboratory testing to confirm the cause of the illness when presented with a greyhound showing signs of the virus.

The Commission urges all greyhound owners and trainers to make sure that your greyhound's vaccinations are current especially puppies.

Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission (GWIC) said in a statement

"The Commission can assist with costs for laboratory testing."

Breeders and trainers have been urged to seek veterinary treatment for young puppies and affected older greyhounds; those having a high fever and vomiting; and those which only have symptoms of diarrhoea for more than two days.

Strict biosecurity and hygiene practices should be followed. These include:

  • Isolate affected greyhounds immediately
  • Avoid moving affected greyhounds from the property unless necessary
  • Quarantine greyhounds that may have been in contact with affected greyhounds for 10 days
  • Limit and quarantine new arrivals for 10 days
  • Do not race or trial greyhounds that are affected
  • Monitor the health of all greyhounds in your care and seek veterinarian advice for any concerns you have.
  • Frequent cleaning of kennels, transport, equipment and feed/water bowls with a bleach-based product or specialist veterinary disinfectant.
  • Maintain high levels of hygiene in kennels and remove faeces from the environment as often as possible.
  • Use personal protective equipment such as gloves, overalls and boots to reduce the risk of you spreading the virus where possible.
  • Do not share bedding and utensils between greyhounds.

The GWIC said greyhounds that are sick should not be moved, other than to transport to a veterinary clinic for treatment and observe strict biosecurity practices to prevent transmission.

"The Commission vets are happy to assist with advice and strategies to limit spread," the alert stated.

"The Commission urges all greyhound owners and trainers to make sure that your greyhound's vaccinations are current."

If an owner or trainer suspects their greyhounds are suffering from any infection they should quarantine that greyhound immediately and notify the GWIC on 13 49 42 or via vets@gwic.nsw.gov.au.

This story Coronavirus cases in canines increasing: Warning for breeders, trainers first appeared on Mandurah Mail.