A deadly and mysterious bowel disease is affecting Norwegian dogs according to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and Norwegian Veterinary Institute. At least 25 dogs have so far been reported with the disease that has officials searching for answers.
First reported in Oslo, cases have now been identified in 13 of Norway's 18 administrative regions.
The symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea are not new but veterinarians are surprised at how quickly the condition of the dogs deteriorates. One dog was euthanised to avoid suffering as their condition escalated so quickly. Two bacteria have been found in "abnormally large quantities" in some cases but known diseases such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and contact with rat poisons have been ruled out.
Tests are still being carried out in the absence of definitive answers with viruses, fungi, parasites and environmental water conditions all thought to be possibilities.
Speaking to the Norwegian national broadcaster NRK, Food safety authority spokesman Ole-Herman Tronerud said the illness was "very serious for a dog. But we don't know yet whether this is contagious or just a series of individual cases".
Dog owners in Norway have been advised to keep dogs on a lead and to avoid contact with other dogs until more is known.