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Appeal to scoop poop as dog infections soar


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An increase in viral infections in dogs in north Dublin and east Meath has led to renewed appeals for dog owners to scoop up their 'poop'.

Dog faeces in parks and on public paths and beaches are the main cause of the transmission of 'canine enteric coronavirus', which affects the stomachs of dogs but is harmless to humans.

Humans can't be infected but can pass it on to dogs if they pet a dog with the virus.

Veterinary clinics in the north Dublin areas of Balbriggan, Skerries and Stamullen, run by the Shenick Vets business, have all reported up to 10 cases a week in the past month. Vets in Raheny have also had several cases.

"We are getting around 10 cases a week now compared to this time last year when we had no cases," said veterinary surgeon Dr Andreea Heghina, based at a clinic in Balbriggan.

"Parks and beaches, basically anywhere that dogs poop, the virus is there. So another dog comes along and sniffs it and picks up the virus," she said.

The symptoms are vomiting and a loss of appetite; it may cause diarrhoea and the dog may become lethargic. Infected dogs that are not vomiting can be monitored at home and given gastrointestinal-friendly dog food and probiotics.

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