Canine Coronavirus

“Update 23rd April 2020”

When Will Greyhound Racing Return From Coronavirus Lockdown?

Horse racing looks set to return probably in June and is likely to be behind closed doors.

It looks more promising though for greyhound racing for a return soon. The governments advice  has indicated that greyhound racing could return from the Covid 19 lockdown once the appropriate social measures are in place.

It was always thought that greyhound racing in the UK would return before horse racing. Of course any return would be behind closed doors, to the public at least.  Everybody involved in the sport though wants a return as soon as possible but it has to be safe.

Greyhounds are working dogs and respond better too regular racing routines. When a return to racing does happen there will be a lot of strange results. Some dogs will find it easier to return to the racing scenario whereas others will need introducing back to the racing routine. Greyhounds will be raced on kennel tracks and will of course follow a fitness routine but nothing can replace a correctly run race from a stadium.

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GRV Chief Veterinarian Steven Karamatic has stated that Coronavirus is a type of virus that can affect all animals. But, Canine Coronavirus is specific to dogs, there are two types of virus related to dogs. There are the respiratory form and an enteric form which affects the gut.

The Covo-19 virus that is affecting humans is not the same as the current outbreak of the enteric Canine Coronavirus. The Covo-19 virus cannot be caught by dogs and vice-versa the Canine Coronavirus cannot be caught by humans.

Symptoms

The most obvious signs that a dog has got this virus are vomiting and diarrhoea along with a lack of energy and enthusiasm. It can spread quite quickly through the kennels, initially it is spread through the faeces.

When A Dog Shows Signs

There is an incubation period of about four days were no signs will show. After these initial four days, the symptoms last for about three days onwards up to 10 days. I dog once confirmed with coronavirus should avoid stress and they should then be left to recover. Transport should be minimised and no exercise just rest for a two week period. The dogs should be isolated because they will be very infectious.

Limiting The Spread

In terms of prevention, the most practical means are hygiene including good hand hygiene and foot hygiene of the dogs. Minimise the use of bedding and Leads with other dogs including transport if any is used. Any new dogs brought into kennels should be isolated away from the other dogs for up to 2 weeks.

Vaccination

There is a vaccination for the form of canine coronavirus and this is available from the veterinarian. It might not protect against all strains of the virus and it’s worth talking to a vet first. Some people are saying it is not worth vaccination of the dogs because it is not protective against all forms of the virus. However, it might be worth considering because it will stop the virus in some forms of the canine coronavirus.

Has This Virus Been Around Before?

Diarrhoea and vomiting in kennels are not uncommon but in Queensland and Western Australia, they have had the canine coronavirus so they are experiencing more of the diarrhoea and vomiting than normal. But it is not the first time canine coronavirus has been amongst kennels especially in Australia.