Dogs are at risk of contracting chlamydia according to a prominent veterinarian surgeon.
The disease which is sexually transmitted in humans can be caught by pets who come into contact with dried bird poo and bird carcasses.
Vet UK managing director and vet Iain Booth warned dog owners that the disease can cause unpleasant symptoms in the eyes and respiratory tract of the four-legged pets.
Symptoms to look out for
Speaking to the Telegraph and Argus, Booth highlighted the warning signs for dog owners to be aware of.
“In dogs it’s likely to manifest itself in the eyes, but can affect their respiratory tract too and make them pant more,” he said. “They can also become lethargic.”
“If your dog’s eyes are watering or red and they’re producing certain amounts of discharge, they may be infected.
“If they’re scratching or pawing at their eyes or they’re panting for more air, it could be because they’ve come into contact with the bacteria.”
Contracted via birds
Booth revealed how dogs could contract the disease.
“This bacteria is called chlamydia psittaci or psittacosis which can infect them when they come into contact with bird poo. Many birds carry it.
“One potential hazard of contact is when your dog is out running in fields heavily populated with birds, putting them at a higher risk.”
Despite the warning, Booth has insisted that cases of the disease are “extremely rare” and insisted that”you cannot catch an STD from your dog.”
Treatment of Chlamydia in dogs is “pretty straightforward”, according to Booth.
He says: “They can be given oral medication to fight the infection.”
If the disease is ignored, more serious illnesses can occur, however.