A mysterious illness is plaguing dogs in Norway and causing panic. Veterinarians and scientists are scrambling to figure out the cause but have been unsuccessful so far. The illness has been linked to the death of nearly 30 dogs.
Unfortunately, autopsies have given no clear insight into the mystery ailment. The Norwegian Veterinary Institute says 10 dogs have been autopsied so far. Another five autopsies are expected in the coming days. The agency hopes to have answers soon.
A Mind-Bending Mystery
Independent reports scientists are considering different causes including viruses, pollution, hot weather, and new parasites to the area. They have been able to rule out camplyobacteria, rat poison, and salmonella. The illness is not believed to be caused by food. The emergency and safety director for the Norwegian Veterinary Institute weighed in.
“We have seen that many different types of feed have been used in the dogs that are autopsied, and have no reason to believe that it is the cause of one specific feed. We are investigating possible viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic causes,” said Jorun Jarp.
The Norwegian summer has been especially wet this year. The excess moisture and warm temperatures have caused an abundance of mushrooms to grow in the region. Researchers are starting to consider the excess mushrooms as the cause of the mystery illness. The mushrooms can be found in yards and flower beds, both of which dogs frequently access.
There is no shortage of fungi in the region. The Norway Post says are nearly 1,000 species of mushrooms in Norway. Fifteen of those species are deadly to humans!
“To have healthy and great Norwegian dogs die so quickly is naturally serious. It’s a very special situation I haven’t been involved in before,” said Jarp.
Signs, Symptoms and Rapid Decline
The illness causes bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Sadly, the symptoms are so severe that it can be fatal within hours. Dogs are dying before they even get the chance to be evaluated by a veterinarian.
First reports of the mystery disease came from Oslo but cases have now been linked to 14 out of the 18 counties in Norway. It’s especially rampant in the east and far north.
“It’s complex because the symptoms are normal in dogs from eating a mouse or mushrooms or bad water. What’s new is how rapid this illness has become,” said Asle Haukaas of the Norwegian Veterinary Institute.
Nobody knows if it’s contagious, which may be the most unsettling part of all of this. Families are being told to keep their fur babies away from other dogs as a precaution and all dog shows in Norway have been canceled for this weekend.