“This is causing more serious illness than in the past,” said Berndt Klingeborn, a researcher at the institute.
He told Wednesday’s Aftonbladet that in the last few weeks more and more dogs have been brought to vets’ practices and animal hospitals with the Corona virus – which is in the same family as the virus which affects humans.
“The symptoms are more or less the same as for people with winter vomit disease, with vomiting and diarrhoea,” said Klingeborn.
While the virus cannot be passed between humans and dogs – or other types of animals – it is thought to be highly contagious between dogs and Klingeborn advised owners not let their dogs be too sociable over the coming weeks.
“If you live in an area where there are many dogs you ought to consider walking them somewhere else,” he said.
The National Veterinary Institute’s official line is that “it is very rare that dogs will die of the disease but if you own a dog you ought to check that your dog does not lose too much fluid and become dehydrated”.
Dagens Nyheter reported that the illness begins with the dog refusing food and tends to last between six and nine days. But puppies and young dogs are more easily infected, are ill for longer and suffer worse symptoms.
The paper also pointed out that while there is no vaccine against the Corona virus, it can be killed with household disinfectant.