Taking care of your beloved best friend when they’re sick is stressful in itself, but not knowing what’s making them unwell adds a level of tension that is truly unnerving.
Unfortunately, this is the reality for hundreds of pups and their owners across northeast England. After strolling on the beach with their furry best friends, over one hundred and fifty pet parents all across the area have reported that their pups are suffering from a mysterious illness.
Less than an hour after their walk together on the picturesque beach, it became apparent to Lucy’s dad that something was wrong. There was such an obvious change in the two-year-old Labrador’s behavior that it was without question she had fallen ill. But what could have made her and one hundred and fifty other dogs sick after a simple walk on the beach?
“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 diarrhea,” said Brogan Proud, veterinary nurse.
A mere thirty minutes after their walk, Lucy’s dad noticed that she was withdrawn, subdued, and sitting in her crate in an odd way. It was almost as if she was sitting on her haunches because her stomach was in pain. After sitting like that for a while, the poor pup proceeded to take large gulps of water and then vomit eight separate times throughout the evening. Then, the following day, she collapsed and was rushed to the vet for emergency treatment.
Current theories on what is causing the mystery dog illness range from leftover doggie doo on the beach, to something in the sand, to something else altogether. Investigations are being done, but as of right now, nobody is quite sure of the cause.
There’s speculation about whether or not it’s solely happening to dogs who visit the beaches or if it is also affecting pups in other areas as well. Owners with dogs who live a little farther inland, but who haven’t been to the actual beach, are bringing in dogs who are vomiting and have diarrhea.
Others wonder whether or not these illnesses are linked to the large number of crabs that recently washed up on shore in these same areas.
“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,” said Proud.
Fortunately, Lucy received treatment for adequate hydration and is on the mend. But how many more dogs will become infected before they get to the bottom of what’s making them sick?