- A police dog is dead and eight are unwell after they were struck with rare illness
- Both German Shepards and Labradors are affected by an enlarged oesophagus
- The cause is not yet known but food is not being ruled out as a possible factor
One police dog is dead and eight others are unwell after part of Victoria’s Dog Squad were struck down by an illness which cause remains unknown.
Both German Shepard and Labrador dogs are affected and are being treated by specialist vets at Melbourne University.
The highly-trained animals were diagnosed with a condition known as Megaesophagus which symptoms include an enlarged oesophagus and difficulty swallowing.
Nine members of the Victoria Police Dog Squad have been struck down by Megaesophagus, which causes an enlarged oesophagus
So far, one dog has died and the other eight remain unwell with varying levels of illness
Inspector Jon Woodyatt from the Dog Squad told 3AW that although each dog has its own specific diet requirements, food is not being ruled out as a contributing factor.
‘At this stage, we’re told there was a number of common factors which we are looking at. One of them does include the food that we’re feeding the dogs,’ he said.
‘We’re told having this number of dogs with this condition is pretty much unheard of in veterinary circles.’
Victoria Police told Daily Mail Australia that the diagnosis of nine dogs in one incident is extremely rare and they are still figuring out the cause of the condition.
‘We are saddened that one police dog has been put down as a result of the condition which can hamper adequate nutrition,’ they said.
Severity in symptoms varies greatly between the canines and it is thought the first symptoms emerged last December.
Victoria Police told Daily Mail Australia that the diagnosis of nine dogs in one incident is extremely rare and they are still figuring out the cause of the condition