A virus that causes dogs to severely vomit for up to five days has reached the North West.
Symptoms of the virus include the pets becoming lethargic, have blood in their stools, diarrhoea and not eating.
Dog owners are being warned as it has spread across the UK in recent weeks due to the virus being contagious.
One of the main causes of the bug is if a dog has eaten unusual or spoiled food or been in contact with toxins, viruses or bacteria.
The symptoms of the bug were first seen in January and have quickly spread across the country to places like Burnley, Cornwall and Manchester.
One dog owner, Joanna Cooke, feared the worst when her dog, Jess, contracted the virus at the start of February.
Joanna, owner of Holland House Farm shop in Walton le Dale, said: “It was a horrible experience, to the point where I thought she wouldn’t make it as she is an old 11-year-old Border Collie, who has diabetes which caused her to go blind three years ago.
“My dog got it for six days, then she was fine for four days, then she got sick again for another six days.
“She has fully recovered now but I was worried due to her diabetes.”
Vets across the UK are warning dog owners to take precaution and if your dog has any of these symptoms after 24 hours to take them to the vets immediately.
To prevent gastroenteritis in dogs, owners are advised to make sure that vaccinations and worming are up to date.
Joanna added: “The vets gave her an injection on day two, that perked her up, they had no idea where this virus came from or what it was called. It seemed to happen very suddenly where they were worried that medication would run out.”
Gastroenteritis can be caused by many different things it’s hard to totally prevent, but there are ways that dog owners can reduce the risk of their pet becoming ill such as discouraging them from scavenging and eating food they pick up while out and about.
Paul Calway, Clinical Director at Burnley based Oakmount Veterinary Centre, told the Burnley Express: “Symptoms usually last for 24 to 48 hours and we recommend that dog owners take their pets to a vets if they last longer than that or the dog continues to be sick while only drinking water or if they seem depressed within themselves.”
Mr Calway said that animals should be fed bland food, such as chicken or boiled rice and make sure they drink plenty of water.
He advised not to completely change a dog’s diet as it can cause other health problems.
If your dog has the virus, it is advised not to let them mix with other animals.