Localised North-East dog illness is true but NOT related to beaches

In the worst cases, the bug can be fatal for your furry friend

<p>A woman walks her dog in Leazes Park (Image: Getty Images)</p>

A woman walks her dog in Leazes Park (Image: Getty Images)

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has issued a statement following a spate of dog illnesses localised to the North East and Yorkshire.

There has been a recent spike in dogs with presenting with gastroenteritis-like symptoms in the areas, with some speculating they could be linked to local beaches.

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However, speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Friday, January 14, BVA President Justine Shotton said there is not enough evidence to show the cause is linked to beaches or other environmental factors.

Dr Shotton said: “We are aware of a recent spike in cases of dogs falling ill from gastroenteritis-like symptoms in several parts of Yorkshire and North East England.

“Vets see gastroenteritis cases relatively commonly in practice, but numbers seem to be increasing and more widespread than usual.

“At this time, we can’t speculate on what might be causing the symptoms, and there is currently no evidence to suggest a direct link between the illness and the dogs visiting the beaches.

“We’ve heard reports from vets in the area who are really far inland and they are also seeing an increase in these kinds of cases in dogs that have never been to the beach, so I’m not sure yet if we have enough information to make that link.”

The doctor also said that most cases of the illness are mild, but some dogs may need hospitalisation with a drip.

In the worst cases, it can become haemorrhagic and lead to secondary complications and death.

She added: “We saw something similar a couple of years ago, and the latest data from the University of Liverpool’s veterinary surveillance database points to the spike being part of normal seasonal variation at the moment.

“Our advice to concerned owners is to contact their local vet for prompt treatment if their dog shows any signs of illness, such as vomiting and diarrhoea.”