Surveillance of a Vomiting Outbreak In Dogs in the UK Using Owner-Derived And Internet Search Data

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Abstract

Background
In early 2020, the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network
reported evidence of an outbreak of acute prolific vomiting in dogs in the
UK. The aims of this study were to investigate whether there was
evidence for a vomiting outbreak in Dogslife and Google Trends data and
to describe its characteristics.
Methods
Incidence of Dogslife vomiting reports and the Google search index for
‘dog vomiting’ and ‘puppy vomiting’ between December 2019 to March
2020 was compared to the respective data from the same months in
previous years. Risks for dogs vomiting and factors influencing
veterinary attendance in Dogslife were identified using multivariable
logistic regression.
Results
This study confirmed a vomiting outbreak was evident in UK dogs
between December 2019 and March 2020 using data from Dogslife and
Google Trends. The odds of a vomiting incident being reported to
Dogslife was 1.51 (95% CI: 1.24 – 1.84) in comparison to previous
years. Dogslife data identified differences in owner-decision making
when seeking veterinary attention and identified factors associated with
dogs at higher odds of experiencing a vomiting episode.
Conclusion
Owner-derived data including questionnaires and internet search queries
should be considered a valid, valuable source of information for
veterinary population health surveillance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2021;e308
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalVeterinary Record
Early online date18 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 May 2021

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