Dog owners warned as mystery illness ‘spreads like wildfire’ across Yorkshire

dog walker
But one vet says vomiting and diarrhoea ‘can be a normal occurrence this time of year’ (Picture: Getty Images)
Pet owners in Yorkshire claim their dogs are coming down with a mystery illness that’s ‘spreading like wildfire’.

Around 150 dogs in the area were reported to have been struck down with vomiting and diarrhoea last week .

The sickness was initially suspected to be linked to ‘toxins’ in the water’ on beaches like Scarborough and Saltburn. DEFRA has run tests and is ‘not aware of any link with the issue of dead crabs and lobsters washed ashore in the area late last year’.

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Some owners are now insisting it has ‘nothing to do with the beaches’ as the bug spreads on land, YorkshireLive reports.

Others say the ’cause of the illness is unknown’ but it’s ‘taking longer than normal to recover from’.

Emily Storey, from York, says her six-month-old cockapoo Loki was one of many to become ill last week after a walks around Copmanthorpe.

When she took him to the vets she was told that it ‘seems to be worse than usual’ and he is ‘taking longer than normal to recover’.

Another owner posted on a group in Hebden Bridge saying her ‘vet told her every other dog he has seen has this bug’.

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Her dog is ‘fine’ now but her mum’s dog has come down with the same illness, she added.

SALTBURN BY THE SEA, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 22: A man walks his dog as three riders take their horses down the beach in Saltburn By The Sea as the UK adjusts to life under the Coronavirus pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Saltburn By The Sea, United Kingdom. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to at least 188 countries, claiming over 13,000 lives and infecting more than 300,000 people. There have now been 5,018 diagnosed cases in the UK and 240 deaths. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
One owner claims it ‘takes longer to recover from’ (Picture: Getty Images Europe)

She said: ‘Just be careful as they don’t know what the cause is or how it’s spreading.’

Meanwhile, someone from Sheffield has posted cautioning there is a ‘nasty bug doing the rounds that will knock your dog off its feet’.

They claim the virus is ‘spreading like wildfire and is in most areas’.

In Leeds, a woman was walking her dog at Hunslet canal before it also apparently caught the mystery illness.

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She claims the virus came from the coast but is now being ‘spread from dog to dog in the city’.

But a vet at the Minster Veterinary Practice has dismissed reports of a new bug, saying vomiting and diarrhoea ‘can be a normal occurrence this time of year’.

She said: ‘We often, unfortunately, get waves of unwell pets with vomiting and diarrhoea around this time of year, just as in the summer we often get cases of kennel cough.’

The vet added: ‘Any cases that have had to be hospitalised due to vomiting and diarrhoea have responded to supportive care.

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‘My main advice to any pet owners would be that if your pet is unwell then seek veterinary attention, if we have a mild stomach upset then a bland diet is little and often is a good idea.

‘Please be reassured that if we felt that there was something pet owners should avoid or minimise to stop their pet becoming generally unwell then we would advise of this.’

Defra is aware of the reports and is in contact with the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

Officials recommend that if a pet shows clinical signs, the owner should seek veterinary care from their own private veterinary practice.

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