There is currently concern among participants, and in some cases unnecessary alarm, with the current outbreak of canine gastroenteritis in Victoria.
What we know from our members’ own experience
This is not new. It is the same or similar to gastro outbreaks that occur almost every year. It is NOT related to the human outbreak of Covid 19. The dog virus is not contagious to humans.
This virus affected greyhounds in WA around Christmas time and soon after in Queensland & NSW. It is now surfacing in Victoria.
The experience of trainers affected in WA, QLD and now in Victoria is that the majority of dogs are back to normal, in terms of no longer having evident symptoms, in 24 to 48 hours.
Importantly, all dogs in a kennel don’t get it at the same time. This means larger kennels may have it among their dog population for a number of weeks.
Usually lethargic, don’t want to get off their bed, not interested in their meal or eat slowly, often vomiting up any food they have just eaten. Diarrhoea.
Usually they will run a temperature. This is often followed by scours.
GOTBA member experience advice based on previous outbreaks
No exercise, let the dog rest in clean, warm, stress free environment. Give very small meals more often rather than one normal meal.
Arofac 200 powder appears to be successful in avoiding or slowing the scours. Suggest it be given in each of the small meals once symptoms appear. Have regard to any veterinary advice you may obtain.
Spray kennels with F10 Veterinary disinfectant. Best put into spray bottle and applied to kennel area and bedding.
Clean and disinfect soiled kennels and bedding thoroughly.
Clean all faeces from kennels and yards after every let out. It has been reported to us that nose to faeces contact rather than from dog to dog contact is the main cause of the virus spreading.
Take temperature of any dogs suspected of coming down with gastro.
Isolate infected dogs if possible (and participants should actively apply their Code of Practice EHMP isolation protocols in this regard).
If a dog does not show signs of recovery within 2 -3 days, seek veterinary advice.
Racing and Trialling
According to members, a large majority of the dogs that come down with the virus will show the signs in the day or few days after attending trials or races (or completing other high impact exercise).
Even though most dogs will recover within 24 to 48 hours of first symptom, they should be given 10 days off racing or trialling after those symptoms have gone and the greyhound seems fully recovered. This is both prudent health care for the individual greyhound and for the wider population.
Keeping a keen eye on your dogs and good kennel management, including isolation, can allow you to race fit and healthy dogs and care for those with, or who are recovering from it.
Take the temperature of dogs prior to leaving home to race or trial. Remember that taking the temperature at the track often provides false high readings.
Use your own ‘disinfected’ lure arm while trialling or only pen trials.
Avoid placing dogs into the holding pens outside catching pens.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, if in any doubt, leave your dog home - don’t race or trial – and consider seeking veterinary advice.
Other resources: GRV
Participants should note that GRV also has a number of resources available with more information on the virus and on actions to take or consider taking – see https://greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/ccv/
AND ANOTHER THING – avoidance of panic and respect in dealing with others
It is critically important that all participants avoid panic, remain civil towards one another and respect the efforts of those working in and regulating the sport in managing the current canine gastroenteritis outbreak. Industry participants and GRV as regulator are taking prudent, nimble action for the benefit of individual greyhounds and the sport generally, including people who rely on it.
Always treat participants and GRV personnel striving to respond in sometimes difficult circumstances with respect: by all means be constructive with input, but avoid actions that are intemperate, particularly any abuse – they only put barriers in the way of achieving the efficient, best outcomes.
Greyhound Owners Trainers and Breeders Association of Victoria Inc