The Rather Strange Coincidence of Sick Dogs

The Rather Strange Coincidence of Sick Dogs

It seems there are a few stories in the news that are so similar that I would be remiss not to talk about them, rather than as I frequently do - just share a link to an article about it. In this case there are multiple articles on each of these occurrences.

The first that caught my eye was the outbreak of dogs getting sick in Norway, where they’ve had over 26 dogs that have gotten sick and died this last weekend as well as hundreds more that are still sick with some sort of bowel disease. They all had the same symptoms which include vomiting and bloody diarrhea according to AniCura Norge, a veterinary hospital in Oslo, Norway. They don’t know yet if it’s contagious or if it’s viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic. Rat poison, salmonella and food contamination have all been ruled out. I have to admit when I first heard about this my thought went straight to the food supply, but it seems that is not the case.

Also being investigated the unusual boom in wild mushrooms growing this year due to their extremely wet summer.

The outbreak started near Oslo but has now spread to most of the country. It is very fast acting with many dogs getting sick and dying within a day.

One family reported their dog was fine one day and even went for a run, the next day she was sick and vomiting and diarrhea. They took her to the vet who looked at her and told them to keep an eye on her and if the symptoms get worst bring her back, the next morning the family found her in the hallway, dead.

The illness has caused cancellation of dog shows across Norway as well as concern from neighboring Sweden that the disease will cross over their border.

Authorities in Norway are telling people to keep their dogs leashed and away from other dogs until they can determine what is causing the illness. Norway is asking for 2000 vets across the country to fill out questionnaires in an attempt to help determine the cause. They do not believe the disease can spread to humans.

At the same time today in the news is a story from Utah where more than a dozen dogs have leptospirosis which is a deadly bacterial disease that can spread to humans. There have been 13 cases, ten are being treated at the Red Hills Animal Hospital and the other 3 at different hospitals in the area. Vets think an infected dog stayed at a local boarding center and other dogs caught it from there. They still have not determined who is patient zero that has been spreading the disease. Doctors say that the disease did not originate at the boarding facility and that it can occur anywhere in nature. Leptospirosis is the number 1 zoonotic disease in the world. Zoonotic means the disease can spread to humans through contact with urine or body fluids. There is a vaccine available to prevent animals getting the disease. Once animals or humans contract the disease it can be treated with antibiotics. 

And let us not forget the Blue-Green Toxic Bloom. When a person looks at water and sees that it looks stagnant and has algae floating on it we know not to swim in it, your dog does not share that feeling and may happily jump right in and swim in it, and may drink it as well. This summer the toxic bloom has killed several dogs that swam in it within a matter of hours. Most of the dogs have died in Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee but there have been several in other states as well. Cyanobacteria usually occurs in stagnant water and appears as green with a blue sheen. Word of advice, if you see crap floating in the water - don't let your dogs swim in it!

While things happen, it just seemed strange to see three unusual cases of dogs dying in the news all within a very short time period. With lack of any other reason I can only think - things happen in 3’s. Yes, I am a professional please don’t try to have these thoughts on your own.

So that’s the happy news of coincidences with numbers of dogs getting sick and dying. Next article will have to be on a more happy note, like dogs singing carols door to door or helping little old ladies across the street or something similar.

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