Racing greyhounds test positive for coronavirus in Bundaberg
BUNDABERG greyhounds have tested positive for the canine coronavirus.
The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) confirmed the news, after a local vet submitted samples from sick dogs to a laboratory.
Results confirmed that racing greyhounds in the Bundaberg area, tested positive for the canine Enteric coronavirus.
The virus is highly contagious between dogs, with puppies and younger dogs being most susceptible to the illness, although QRIC said in a statement that the mortality rate was low.
QRIC said canine coronavirus is not related to the current virus outbreak that is being spread among humans.
Symptoms are described as being mild, transient (two to three days) lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration.
QRIC animal welfare and veterinary services director Dr Martin Lenz said owners and trainers of the greyhounds are required to advise if dogs show any of the symptoms.
"Private veterinarians dealing with greyhounds potentially suffering from the virus are encouraged to conduct laboratory testing to confirm the cause of the illness," Dr Lenz said.
"As a measure to assist the industry to contain this virus it is important that greyhounds with symptoms of disease that could be attributed to canine coronavirus are accurately diagnosed, so that any infected greyhounds can be quarantined and not brought to the races."
Dr Lenz said the outbreak was a timely reminder for trainers and owners to ensure their hygiene and biosecurity measures are in place and in consultation with a veterinarian.
"This includes frequent hand washing, isolating sick dogs, wearing gloves and protective clothing, cleaning and disinfecting all areas and equipment including transport vehicles, as well as monitoring the health of all dogs and quarantining new arrivals," he said.
"Dogs with vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy or a temperature above 39.5◦C should be isolated immediately.
"It is 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."
Dr Lenz said the commission would assist owners and trainers with costs of laboratory testing for affected dogs.
QRIC said in a statement issued yesterday, that all greyhounds required health testing before they could be raced and if they presented any of the symptoms, that they were unable to race.