Queensland greyhound racing is on high alert with news that greyhounds havetested positive to Canine Enteric Coronavirus.

Over the past week, veterinarians from the Queensland Racing IntegrityCommission (QRIC) have carried out tests on several greyhounds in south eastQueensland suffering from gastroenteritis.

“The results have confirmed all dogs (tested) to be infected with CanineEnteric Coronavirus,” the QRIC statement read, adding that the current canineoutbreak isn’t to be misunderstood with the ‘novel coronavirus’ causingrespiratory illness in people.

“Some dogs also tested positive for a mixed or secondary infection withClostridium perfringens. All dogs were negative for Parvovirus.”

Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said testing confirmed the presenceof a current Canine Coronavirus outbreak in greyhounds in the South East ofQueensland.

“Greyhounds are presenting with mild, transient (2-3 days) lethargy, vomiting,diarrhoea, associated dehydration and a fever may or may not be present,” hesaid.

“Canine Coronavirus is a common cause of diarrhoea and vomiting and is highlycontagious between dogs. Unlike with parvovirus, the mortality rate is lowwith Canine Coronavirus. Puppies are the most susceptible to this disease.

“There is no specific treatment for Canine Coronavirus, however supportivecare is very important and greyhound racing participants should seek immediateveterinary advice for affected dogs.”

Dr. Martin Lenz, the commission’s director of animal welfare and veterinaryservices, said a vaccine is available against the Canine Coronavirus.

“The vaccine will aid in the prevention of the disease but does not stopinfection or limit shedding of the virus but maybe recommended for puppies andbreeding kennels,” Dr Lenz said.

“The vaccination of dogs should be discussed with your veterinarian.

“I would urge all participants to apply strict personal hygiene andbiosecurity practices to help limit the spread of this virus.”

Dr. Lenz urged participants to be vigilant in dealing with the virus.

“Dogs with vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy or a temperature above 39.5◦C shouldbe isolated immediately,” he added.

“It is important that all those in contact with this virus that there is thepotential for the virus to be transmitted on clothing and equipment and theyshould take precautions when handling both healthy and sick dogs within thekennel.”

The commission has urged owners and trainers to contact QRIC stewards if anyof their greyhounds are affected with the virus.

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