Lockdown puppy boom could foster the next pandemic


Buyer's Note: Veterinarians across the UK are becoming more vigilant for zoonotic diseases, most of which have been found in rescue dogs lost on the streets in Romania-Canine Companions for Independence / PA

Buyer’s Note: Veterinarians across the UK are becoming more vigilant for zoonotic diseases, most of which have been found in rescue dogs lost on the streets in Romania-Canine Companions for Independence / PA

United Kingdom Obsession with buying puppies in lockdown This has put veterinarians across the country on the alert for new diseases that can be transmitted from dogs to humans.

High demand for pets Imports of puppies from several countries have doubled, and cases of brucellosis in dogs have increased significantly.

Bacterial infections in dogs are incurable and most sleep, but can be treated with antibiotics. However, in some cases, the infection can last a lifetime.

Public Health England (PHE) said Friday night that 250 people were tested for the disease, but none returned a positive result.

Government health and animal welfare authorities are now increasing surveillance, and all UK laboratories are instructed to report all positive reactions to the disease.

Approximately 60 dog cases have been identified in the past year, but previously only three. There were two in 2017 and one in 2018.

At greatest risk are owners of infected dogs, breeders, veterinarians, and staff who have come into contact with them or their body fluids, especially those who have come into contact with dogs that have just given birth to puppies.

Infected people suffer from fever, chills, general malaise, and can be infected for life. Anyone with a weakened immune system, such as a child under the age of five, a pregnant woman, or a cancer patient, can suffer from chronic illness.

In most cases, Romania found a rescue dog lost on the street. Imports of commercial dogs from Romania increased from 19,480 in 2019 to 29,348 last year.

Government to strengthen immigration control for puppies

The surprising increase in cases has increased the urgency of the government to speed up plans to strengthen immigration control for puppies.

With the British Veterinary Association Dog trust It also urges the Minister to require pre-import inspections of all dogs entering the country to prevent further spread of the disease.

Dr. Neil Hudson of the Conservative Party is the only qualified veterinarian and member of parliament, demanding “the strictest medical examination” for dogs brought to the UK.

“During the pandemic, the number of imported dogs has increased significantly, which has some unintended consequences. Brucellosis is a health risk for dogs and humans. We are more obligatory. Needs more inspection and people have to pay more attention to where they source their dogs, “he said.

“This disease is incurable for dogs and most need to be eradicated. And although humans can be treated with antibiotics, they are considered lifelong infections. We must be very careful. “

Veterinarians recommend wearing PPE when handling the case

The government’s chief veterinarian, Christine Middlemiss, also warned all veterinarians of potential risks and advised them and staff to wear personal protective clothing when handling cases.

Infection is transmitted to humans through contact with sick dogs and their body fluids after childbirth.

In dogs, the infection is transmitted by mating or contact with body fluids after childbirth.

In bitch, brucellosis can trigger a miscarriage, and in future pregnancies, puppies can die shortly after birth.

The fertility of infected male dogs can be affected, while some dogs suffer from sexes la behavior, lethargy, premature aging and are asymptomatic.

Daniela Dos Santos, senior vice president of BVA, confirmed that veterans are increasingly concerned about the risk of illness from “unhealthy” imported dogs.

“These so-called Trojans often arrive in the UK without a health record. Some charities perform pre-import inspections, but they do so for diseases that are not common in the UK. It can endanger the population of British dogs without having to do it, “she said.

“In some cases, such as brucellosis in dogs, there may be additional risks to public health, including the veterinary team that treats and treats these animals.”

She advised anyone who wants to bring their dogs home to choose a UK-based charity, saying, “The government’s urgent need to mandate pre-import inspections of dogs entering the country. Asked for action.

Dr. Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director of Dogs’s Trust, said: However, we want a compulsory pre-examination of our dogs.

“We are currently conducting a comprehensive inspection of all imported dogs arriving at our rescue center. This is a zoonotic disease that affects you and me. The risk to humans is It’s low, but it’s not zero. “

Parliamentarians will participate in the Petition Committee’s animal welfare debate on Monday, and the government will soon announce a domestic animal bill to crack down on puppy smuggling and import rules.

There was no response from PHE, but a Defra spokesman said: Smuggling puppies and importing pets with low welfare. “

Future policies are guided by risk assessment and disease monitoring.

“I don’t want anyone to experience our experience.”

Hannah Orston and Loki

Hannah Orston and Loki

Hannah Orston, 30, the legal director of Cheltenham, warned dog owners and anyone who wants to buy a puppy to be aware of the threat of brucellosis in their dogs.

She and her husband, Jack, 30, a care worker, have always been anxious for dogs and moved to a large apartment with a yard that could accommodate one during the lockdown.

“It was intended to be the beginning of our family,” said Mrs. Ouston.

“We decided to use the Romanian Dog Rescue Center.

“We looked at a lot of pictures and chose the hybrid Loki because he had black and brown hair and beautiful white legs so cute.

“When I met him on August 9th last year, he was 16 weeks old. His cost was £ 340, gorgeous, beautifully calm and overjoyed.

“In September, we were worried because he looked lame. We took him to the vet, but after a week’s rest in bed it was okay.

“But he was awakened at 3 am on September 23 and screamed in pain. We got up to calm him down and took him to the vet at 8 am. , Discovered that he was suffering from neck pain and administered a powerful painkiller. But his pain lasted for weeks. We were exhausted and he was very sick. I was badly taking four kinds of medicine.

“Loki turned us into a family. He experienced many painful episodes and then contacted a woman who also had a Romanian rescue dog.

“Ultimately, Loki was tested for brucellosis and was forced to surrender.”

She said, “If Loki hadn’t been executed, he wouldn’t have been able to go to public land or mix with other dogs and children. Antibiotics might have helped him, but the infection did. It reoccurs. He never lived a normal life and suffered forever pain.

“He was fired on October 25, 2020, just 10 weeks after arriving in our lives. It was the worst time in our life. We were also inspected and our husband Showed false positives, but he was fine.

“I’m speaking out because I don’t want anyone to enjoy our experience and I don’t want to cause this much pain to other dogs.”