Veterinarians fear an unknown disease that has killed dozens of dogs in Norway could be dangerous for people
Over the past few weeks, about 30 dogs have died from an unknown disease in Norway. The first cases of the disease were reported in Oslo, but after a few days, similar symptoms appeared in dogs in another 13 cities across the country. Among the first symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea with blood.
The National Veterinary Institute of Norway is trying to understand what kind of disease caused the mass death of animals, but so far to no avail.
Pathologist veterinarian Hannah Jorgensen in an interview with the Norwegian broadcasting corporation NRK said that "there are no definite test results so far, so no firm conclusions can be reached." However, doctors are inclined to believe that some of seasonal diseases, for example, parainfluenza, but more dangerous than usual, could become the cause of animal death.
In a new report published on Tuesday, September 10, the Norwegian National Veterinary Institute said that on the basis of anamnesis and pathological studies, it can be ruled out that the cause of death of dogs could be tularemia, anthrax or disease due to tick bites.
The institute also found no evidence that there is a link between both dog disease and the ongoing outbreaks of severe intestinal infection in humans caused by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC).
Until now, no similarities have been found between cases of dog disease: neither age, nor breed, nor food, nor walking areas – nothing gave the veterinarians a clue to determine what could have caused the spread of the deadly disease.
In the meantime, the owners of the dogs are panicking. In social networks, there are reports that the cause of death could be poisoning with poor-quality feed. There was a version that animals could be poisoned by rat poison. But after opening the veterinarians did not find any signs of poisoning and traces of suspicious substances. However, infection with salmonella or campylobacter is not excluded – the bacteria Clostridium perfringens and Providencia alcalifaciens were found in eight dead dogs.
Post-mortem examination showed that the dead dogs were fed with feed from different manufacturers, so the version of poor-quality feed also disappears, the RTVI television company notes.
Director of Emergency Situations and Safety of the Norwegian Veterinary Institute Jurun Yarp said that he had never encountered such a situation before. According to him, it cannot be ruled out that viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites are to blame.
The panic among dog owners intensified so much that alarmed animal owners brought down the Norwegian Club of Dog Owners website. In total, there are about 500-600 thousand dogs in Norway.
Employees of the Veterinary Institute and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences interview pet owners and consult clinics and veterinarians across the country to determine the cause of the disease. Authorities urged owners to protect their pets from contact with other dogs. All dog shows have been canceled in the country.
Ole-Herman Trunerjud, a spokesman for the Food Safety Authority, said it’s not yet clear whether the disease is contagious or is it still a series of isolated cases. It is also unclear whether it is dangerous to humans.