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Vet Who Discovered Mystery Illness In Dogs Says It Is Still 'Spreading Like Wildfire'

Daisy Phillipson

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Vet Who Discovered Mystery Illness In Dogs Says It Is Still 'Spreading Like Wildfire'

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

The vet who discovered a mystery illness amongst dogs in Yorkshire has said that it is still ‘rapidly spreading’. 

Brogan-Alexandra Proud, who runs mobile vet service Yorkshire Coast Pet Care, warned about the virus earlier this month after she was ‘inundated with dogs coming off the beaches with vomiting and diarrhoea’.

YokrshireLive reports that while the illness spread towards Sheffield and Leeds, numbers of pups falling ill has eased slightly after warning walkers not to go to the beach. 

The mystery illness has been linked to Yorkshire beaches. Credit: Enzo Muñoz/Pexels
The mystery illness has been linked to Yorkshire beaches. Credit: Enzo Muñoz/Pexels

Speaking about the ongoing situation, which has sparked numerous theories about what the illness could be, Proud said: "It's still much the same. The situation has not changed.”

But since 10 January, when the vet urged owners to avoid the beach if possible and keep their dogs on leads to avoid contact with other pets, she said: "There's not 20 a day like there was but there's still a few coming in each day with the symptoms."

The publication asked Proud if she thinks the virus originated from Yorkshire beaches, to which she responded: "Massively. There's definitely a problem with the beaches in general."

One theory suggests that dredging or pollution has released toxins in the sea after large numbers of sealife including crabs and lobsters have washed up on Yorkshire coasts in recent months. 

Other vets, however, downplayed the illness, saying that it’s normal for this time of year. 

Some vets have said dogs regularly fall ill in winter. Credit: Alamy
Some vets have said dogs regularly fall ill in winter. Credit: Alamy

President of The British Veterinary Association, Dr Justine Shotton, previously told the BBC: "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.”

In response to this opinion, Proud said: "I've been doing this for 12 years and I know it gets worse this time of year but I have never seen numbers like this coming through. 

“Local practices in the area have said the same thing. There were loads of people saying that their dogs had come off the beach and were ill just hours later on the post as well. 

“This was definitely not normal."

Credit: Dominik QN/Unsplash
Credit: Dominik QN/Unsplash

When asked whether she thinks the cases in Sheffield and Leeds are linked to those in Yorkshire, Proud said: "It's impossible to say. I know a lot of people I spoke to had been on holiday on the coast and were heading back home with their dogs.

"Whatever it is, it's spreading like wildfire."

Dr Shotton similarly warned walkers in the affected areas to be wary and to ‘contact their local vet for prompt treatment if their dog shows any signs of illness, such as vomiting and diarrhoea’.

Topics: Dogs, Animals, UK News

Daisy Phillipson
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