The Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (GWIC) is encouraging breeders and trainers in NSW to continue to monitor the health of their greyhounds as more cases of Canine Coronavirus are confirmed. It is important to remember that canine enteric Coronavirus is in no way related to the current outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) causing respiratory illness in humans.
Chief Veterinary Officer, Michelle Ledger, said that with cases confirmed in Queensland and the prevalence of greyhounds travelling between NSW and QLD trainers should remain vigilant and contact the Commission if their greyhounds show symptoms of the virus.
“Greyhounds suffering from vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, lethargy or fever should be taken to the vet for further diagnosis and trainers should notify the Commission immediately,” Dr Ledger said.
“Particular care should be taken if NSW greyhounds are racing in QLD or with QLD-based dogs in NSW races.”
Veterinary clinics are also encouraged to conduct laboratory testing to confirm the cause of the illness when presented with a greyhound showing signs of the virus.
“I strongly encourage vets to conduct faecal PCR testing to confirm cases of the virus,” Dr Ledger said.
“The Commission will assist with the cost of laboratory testing.”
There are a number of measures trainers and breeders should have in place to prevent Canine Coronavirus, including strict hygiene practices and ensuring all puppy vaccinations are up to date and include Coronavirus.
“It is crucial for trainers to isolate any greyhounds showing symptoms of the virus and seek veterinary treatment so that we can continue to monitor and manage the spread of Canine Coronavirus in Australia,” Dr Ledger said.
Further biosecurity measures should also be considered, including quarantining dogs who have come into recent contact with the ill greyhound, monitoring the health of all greyhounds on the property, limiting the movement of greyhounds coming and going from the kennels; and scratching any affected greyhounds from upcoming races.
Owners and trainers who have questions or concerns about their greyhounds should contact the Commission’s veterinary team on 13 49 42 (13 GWIC) or by email at [email protected]