Potential outbreak investigation: Prolific vomiting in dogs

You are being invited to participate in an outbreak investigation study, following reports of an outbreak of prolific vomiting in dogs. Before you decide whether to participate, it is important for you to understand why the survey is being conducted and what it will involve if you do choose to take part. Please consider the following information. Epidemiologist contact details are listed below should you have any further questions.

Reading this information sheet and completing the survey will be considered as consent to participate in this survey.


What is the purpose of the survey?

This survey has been created in order to collect more detailed case information, following veterinary surgeon and social media reports of a potential outbreak of prolific, acute vomiting in dogs during December 2019 and January 2020.


Why am I being invited to take part and what will happen if I take part?

You are being invited to take part because you are a veterinary surgeon or owner currently working in a companion animal-treating veterinary practice or an owner, in the United Kingdom, who has potentially identified a case fitting the case definition of "dog with acute onset of prolific vomiting, with 5 or more episodes of vomiting within a 12 hour period".

If you decide to take part you will need to complete the online survey, which will take around 10 minutes.

Participation is voluntary and you do not have to take part in this study. You are free to withdraw at any time until you have selected the ‘finish’ button on the final page of the questionnaire. You do not have to give a reason if you do not wish to take part.

If you are willing, we will also request your postcode, name and email address so that we can ask for further case details if this becomes necessary during the potential outbreak investigation. We will only use your name and email for the purpose of seeking further information, and will destroy data containing these personal identifiers on conclusion of the survey. 


Are there any benefits or risks in taking part?

There are no direct benefits or risks to you or your practice associated with taking part in this survey, but we will use the data to further characterise this potential outbreak, and if necessary assist in controlling the potential outbreak.


What will happen if I want to stop taking part?

If you want to stop taking part in this survey you can withdraw at any time until completion and submission of the online survey.


How will my data be used?

The data you provide will be stored securely for up to 7 years in line with data protection requirements at the University of Liverpool and GDPR. All data is strictly confidential and only researchers involved in the study will have access to it. Fully anonymised data may be archived for use in other research projects in the future. Under UK data protection legislation, the University acts as the Data Controller for personal data collected as part of the University’s research. The Principal Investigator acts as the Data Processor for this study.


What will happen to the results of the survey?

The data will be used to further characterise the potential outbreak of prolific vomiting in dogs, potentially assisting in identifying causative factors and informing attempts (if necessary) to control this potential outbreak. Anonymised results may also be published - you and your clients (if relevant) will never be identifiable.


What if I am unhappy or if there is a problem?

If you are unhappy, or if there is a problem, please feel free to contact the epidemiologists listed below and we will try to help. If you remain unhappy or have a complaint which you feel you cannot communicate directly to the researcher then you should contact the Research Ethics and Integrity Office on 0151 794 8290 ( When contacting the Research Governance Officer, please provide details of the name or description of the study (so that it can be identified), the researcher involved, and the details of the complaint you wish to make.


Dr David Singleton

Dr Gina Pinchbeck

University of Liverpool

Leahurst Campus

Chester High Road

CH64 7TE



Please confirm that you have read and understood the above information and confirm your consent for data to be used for these purposes, as the owner or on behalf of the owner.