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Hundreds of dogs taken ill in Yorkshire as walkers given fresh warning to avoid beaches
20 January 2022, 11:29 | Updated: 20 January 2022, 13:19
Dog walkers have been urged to stay off beaches as case numbers of a mystery illness have continued to climb along the coast of Yorkshire, with vets still unclear over what is causing the animals to be unwell.
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Brogan Proud, a veterinary nurse who runs Yorkshire Coast Pet Care, has told LBC she has heard of "hundreds" of dogs falling ill in the north east.
Ms Proud, who works at practices from Middlesborough up to Scarborough, issued a warning on Facebook last week that dogs were being taken ill after walks along beaches in Yorkshire.
She urged pet owners to steer clear, and said the mystery illness is continuing to cause many dogs to have vomiting and diarrhoea.
"It's definitely not gone away," she told LBC.
Sunday we took Copper to Fraisthorpe beach & ever since he’s had sickness & diarrhoea & the last 24hours unable to keep...Posted by Ashley Brown-Bolton on Tuesday, January 11, 2022
"As far as I'm aware lots of people are staying off the beaches, so the problem has slowed down, especially in my area, but I'm still hearing lots of cases of people taking their dogs on the beach and getting poorly."
Ms Proud said they are "really unsure" what is making the dogs so poorly but said it doesn't appear to be a poisoning.
"The dogs are being given anti-sickness and anti-diarrhoea medicine and they are getting better," she said.
"To be honest there is so much speculation, so it's hard to pinpoint it to one thing."
She said she has personally seen dozens of dogs falling ill, but there is "definitely hundreds of dogs" who have been poorly, following conversations with other veterinary practices in the area.
Ms Proud said she won't be rushing back to the beach with her dog for another week or two.
"Staying away from places like the beach will kind of break the cycle and hopefully within another week or so maybe people can start going back to the beach," she said.
"It's hard to say though as we won't know when either the virus or the bacteria has kind of ran its course."
Since Ms Proud issues the warning on Facebook a number of concerned dog owners have shared stories of their pets falling ill.
Ashley Brown-Bolton posted on Facebook: "Sunday we took Copper to Fraisthorpe beach & ever since he’s had sickness & diarrhoea & the last 24hours unable to keep water down. The ones who know him know He’s normally very lively & always wanting to play so for him to be very sleepy & just not interested isn’t like him at all."
Helen Thomas said: "My dog has been poorly after visiting Redcar beach on Bank Holiday Monday.. just picking up today so 7 days ill; vomiting and diarrhoea, lethargic and really poorly.. dog walkers beware."
Another posted online: "boy Bruce walked on Fraisthorpe beach Saturday evening by 11pm he was severely poorly, shaking and being sick. His heart rate was going so fast he ended up going into the vets for the night and had to have a drip etc."
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is understood to be liaising with veterinary organisations, academia and animal charities.
There are not believed to be any reports outside of the north east of England.