Update on 2 Disease Outbreaks in Dogs in NSW

Update May 6th

Thank you so much to everyone who has supplied information. However, due to the tidal wave of replies and phone calls we have to suspend taking any more information for the moment. Our phone line has become so overloaded that our own clients can’t access us for their animal’s care. The sheer volume of incoming emails and Facebook questions leaves not time to do anything else so any new questions will not now be answered.

What we know so far in this evolving situation.

There appears to be 2 separate conditions.

1)The acute vomiting bug we first alerted to: ranging from Thirroul to Albion Pk with hot spots around the Dapto parks.

Information from Greyhound NSW: “The current outbreak in greyhounds appears to be abating. GWIC does not publicise details of affected properties nor individual animals. Very few greyhounds have died due to CCV, to our knowledge”.

The vomiting outbreak we are dealing with does Not appear identical to this greyhound issue. However, until affected dogs are either PCR or blood tested, the cause will remain unknow and some may have indeed been this greyhound strain.

Information supplied from Wollongong Council re timing of spraying and product used, suggest that spraying doesn’t appear to be linked to this vomiting outbreak.

Our advice remains the same:

Give your dog a break from walks anywhere for a few days if you can. If you can’t, then avoid the hot spots. We have already seen a reduction in the number of cases since we first posted as many people kept their dogs home or away from the parks. Others have continued to walk their dogs there and not have issues, but as Covid-19 has shown, infection doesn’t need to mean clinical signs or illness. Such animals and their owners could instead be spreading the disease where it doesn’t need to go. That said, it is a free world and we are not ordering owners how to walk their pets; just sharing some common sense community beneficial advice.

Regardless, if you are concerned about the health of your pet, contact your vet sooner rather than later. Additional testing can be done in addition to treatment if you and or your vet deem it necessary.


2)The other health issue relates particularly to the larger dogs or those who have not left their yard. Diet may be the common link.Given the size and breeds involved, either a dog club or social meeting or diet become a more likely source of the outbreak.

Of the diets fed, the Black Hawk brand, especially their  Lamb & Rice, gets mentioned the most. Black Hawk had recalls of several food in 2018 and again issues in Dec 2019/Jan 2020,  so they will be most prepared of all the brands to deal quickly with any lodged concerns. We ask that all owners of these affected dogs put in a report direct to Black Hawk and also with the help of their pet’s vet, lodge a report via Petfast: https://www.ava.com.au/library-resources/other-resources/petfast/ to ensure the issue is investigated asap.

Other brands of mostly supermarket foods are also mentioned. Many pet foods companies here would use the same supplier for some ingredients; so, you might feed a different food to your neighbour, but the ingredients come from the same supplier. This happened with a contaminated source of fish for several dog foods in the last few years. Report the food with your own vet via Petfast: https://www.ava.com.au/library-resources/other-resources/petfast/ to ensure the issue is investigated asap.

For those group of neighbours whose pets all fell ill, we suggest you work out which dog fell ill first, did that dog mingle with the other dogs or do you and your neighbours ‘treat’ the group of dogs with your pet’s dog food or vice versa? That might help track down the case zero in this outbreak.

If you, as owners, do end up finding a common dietary please, we would appreciate an email to [email protected] updating us on the outcome.

many thanks.