Dogs on the Fylde coast taken ill with mystery bug

The contagious virus causes sickness and diarrhoea in dogs and lasts for several days

By Lucinda Herbert
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 5:21 pm
Updated Friday, 28th January 2022, 8:33 am

Blackpool dog owners are being warned of a mystery virus causing sickness, diarrhoea and tiredness.

Mere Road Vets, and Veterinary Health Centre in St Annes have both seen multiple cases of the illness which is rapidly spreading across the Fylde Coast.

Sarah Reid owns Cosy Kennels and Cattery on Midgeland Road. She is also a trained veterinary nurse, and has been hearing from clients and other vets who have been affected by the bug.

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She said; “It’s spreading like wildfire. The last 12 months we’ve seen so many dog viruses. It could be down to more people getting dogs in the pandemic, I don’t know but it’s got to be connected to Covid somehow. I’ve never known it like this. Normally we just get one bout of kennel cough a year, we’re now on the fifth outbreak in the last 12 months. Last year it got so bad we had to close for a week.”

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Part of the problem is that it’s hard to clean up after the dogs when they have diarrhoea and so other dogs naturally sniff and that’s how it spreads. It seems to be quite contagious.”

Irene Farley’s dog, Olly, became unwell on Thursday 20th January 2022.

“He started vomiting around 4am. I could tell he wasn’t right so I let him in the garden and he had quite bad diarrhoea.”

Her vet, Andrew Mellor on Norbreck Road, advised her to monitor symptoms and stick to a bland diet of chicken and rice.

“He wouldn’t drink anything, and he was very lethargic. He’s started to perk up now, but he’s still off his food and has diarrhoea.”

Irene, from Bispham, said the eight year old cocker spaniel had visited the local beach and Stanley Park. She is unsure where he picked up the bug.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) advise that with prompt veterinary treatment almost all dogs make a full recovery from this uncommonly violent gastric bug.

Dr Shotton said: “With gastroenteritis, most cases are mild, but some dogs may need hospitalisation with a drip. In the worst situations, it can become haemorrhagic leading to secondary complications or even death, but that is very rare.”