Warning as 150 dogs struck down with illness from mystery ‘toxin’ on UK beaches

People stroll and play in the sands sands at North Marine Drive in Scarborough (Picture: Getty)
Vets in Yorkshire are being ‘inundated’ with ill pets (Picture: Getty)

At least 150 dogs have been struck down with vomiting and diarrheoa in a mysterious mass poisoning.

Pet owners are now being warned to avoid walks on several beaches in North Yorkshire over ‘toxins’ in the water. In a public announcement, veterinary nurse Brogan Proud, who runs the Yorkshire Coast Pet, revealed her team has been ‘inundated’ with animals who’ve fallen ill after beach walks. She told Yorkshire Live: ‘Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any correlation other than contact with the beach so maybe ensure they don’t eat anything on the beach and wash them off if they’ve been to the beach in case it is a toxin or similar.

Feed him properly. Ask your vet what type of food and how much is right for you pet. Keeping your pet on a regular, portion controlled diet will help with weight management and prevent weight related health problems.

‘Personally, until the local authorities have got to the bottom of it, I would not recommend taking your pets on the beach for the foreseeable future.

‘I have been in touch with governing bodies and they are currently looking into it.

‘If your dog is showing symptoms please make the local authorities aware as well as seeking veterinary attention should your pet need it.’

Dog walkers gather as they play with their pooches on the green at the Clifton Observatory (Picture: PA)
Pet owners should hold off beach walks in the area until the authorities confirm what the ‘toxin’ is (Picture: PA)

It is unclear what the toxin is and what is causing it, so the nurse urged dog owners to stay vigilant.

Express yourself. Dogs’ ears are extremely expressive. It’s no wonder! There are more than a dozen separate muscles that control a dog’s ear movements.

Since the warning was posted, the Facebook page ‘Best Days Out in Yorkshire’ has been flooded with messages from distressed owners who’ve rushed their pets to the vet. Nursery care assistant Joanne Knight said her dog acted ‘like she was drunk’ following a visit to the beach in Whitby. She said: ‘I was in Whitby on January 2 and took our dog onto the beach.

‘About two hours after she became unwell and started vomiting. She was behaving like she was drunk – like swaying. It was awful.

‘I rang the emergency vets and they said she could have eaten something off the beach.’

For Safety Keep Your Dog Restrained in the Car. I know that dogs love sticking their head out car windows – but it’s a dangerous habit. They’re at risk for being hit with debris, damaging their ears & there’s always the risk that they’ll see something & jump out. If you’re going to be driving over 20 mph it’s always recommended to have your dog restrained in the car.

Sue Brown also shared a similar story: ‘We were at Scarborough beach a couple of weeks ago, again with our dog, and the next day he had bad diarrhoea, which lasted a week.

‘It was really strange as he’d been totally fine before.’

Ms Proud fears dogs and birds could be spreading the unknown illness through their faeces.

She added: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised to see pets catching this just being near the beach and cliffs.

‘It’s hard to avoid all these places, it’s more about being careful and vigilant with your pets.’

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Have you ever wondered why your dog curls up in a ball when they sleep? It’s actually an age-old instinct to keep themselves warm and to protect vital organs while they sleep.

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