Vet issues warning as ‘hundreds of dogs get sick after beach walks in Yorkshire’

·2-min read
A man walks his dog in Stoke Park, Guildford (PA Archive)
A man walks his dog in Stoke Park, Guildford (PA Archive)

A vet has issued a warning to pet owners over reports of dogs getting ill after walks on the beaches on the Yorkshire coast.

Veterinary nurse Brogan Proud advised dog owners to avoid the beach in a post on Monday, after noticing a “high increase” of dog owners reporting their pets had severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

Ms Proud told the Guardian she and her colleagues began noticing the apparent trend around two weeks ago after treating dogs who had been walked on beaches including at Scarborough and Whitby.

Writing on Facebook, she said: “I work within several practices up and down the North East coast and we have recently been inundated with dogs coming off the beaches with vomiting and diarrhoea.

“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.”

The warning has been responded to more than 1,500 times, with many of the responses from dog owners reporting that their dogs had fallen ill after a beach walk.

One, Kate Mugridge, said: “I walked my 2 year old on Whitby beach on New Years Day and the next day sickness and diarrhoea.

“I have never seen my dog so lethargic and literally not moving- thankfully vets back home have sorted him out”.

Another, Naomi Cuthbertson, said: “This is exactly how I think mine got it, from the top of the bank to the beach as we didn’t actually go to the beach”.

Kirsty Salisbury, coastal general manager for East Riding council, told the Guardian the council’s teams had not noticed anything unusual on the beaches.

“We have been liaising with external partners during the course of yesterday to try to establish a cause, while also liaising with local colleagues, and also nationally,” she said.

“From reports from local veterinary surgeries, the illness they are seeing within dogs and the tests carried out have not provided any direct links with the use of beaches.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it was aware of the reports, which are being looked into.

The issue is not believed to be related to a problem with crustaceans washed ashore in the area late last year.

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