DOG owners have been urged to avoid beaches in the North East after becoming "inundated" with pets falling ill.

Yorkshire Coast Pet Care has warned that they are seeing high levels of dogs falling ill with sickness and diarrhoea after reportedly visiting the beach.

The group, which several practices up and down the coast, issued the warning as they this morning said the issue had become "more rife" than first expected.

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In a statement, it urged dog owners to avoid the beach and report symptoms of sickness to the local authority in charge and inform the vet.

The Northern Echo: Picture: NORTHERN ECHOPicture: NORTHERN ECHO

'Seek veterinary attention'

It said: "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 diarrhoea.

"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.

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"I have been in touch with governing bodies and they are currently looking into it.

"If your dog is showing symptoms please let the local authorities aware as well as seeking veterinary attention should your pet need it."

'Our puppy was ill'

Dozens of pet owners have been taking to social media to report the same symptoms in recent days across the North East.

One dog owner said: "My little dog goes to Redcar beach every morning, she’s been poorly since last Friday sick and diarrhoea.

"Very sleepy (and) not her usual self at all now."

Another said: "Our puppy was ill from Thursday, we never reliased it could be the beach.

"Until we walked him on South Bay, Scarborough again Saturday evening. Sunday he was ill with sickness and upset tummy again."

Thankfully, there have not been any reports of deaths.

The Northern Echo: Picture: NORTHERN ECHOPicture: NORTHERN ECHO

It has not yet been confirmed whether there are any problems with the North East's beaches, but the Environment Agency encourages people to report potential hazards.

It comes as the authorities are still believed to be investigating the death of thousands of crabs as they became washed up on the region's beaches last year.

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Chemical pollution and sewage were ruled out as possible causes, but the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) said probes continued.

Since the death of the crabs, there has been no suggestion that dogs are at risk from visiting those beaches affected.

Mike Gubbins, head of the Fish Health Inspectorate at Cefas, previously said:  "We are continuing to investigate whether an aquatic animal disease has caused this mortality. 

"Our Fish Health Inspectorate has been analysing shellfish samples collected from the area for listed and other non-listed diseases, but none have been detected so far.  

“We will continue to work with partner agencies to try and find answers for the local community.” 

Although out of the North East, some authorities in the south of the region have confirmed reports.

In a statement on Wednesday, Kirsty Salisbury, General Manager (Coastal)at the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said : "We are aware of reports on social media and in the local press of dogs becoming unwell following visiting areas of local beaches in the northern part of our coastline. We have been liaising with external partners during the course of yesterday to try and establish a cause, whilst also liaising with local colleagues, and also nationally. 

"From reports from local veterinary surgeries, the illness they are seeing within dogs and the tests carried out have not provided any direct links with the use of beaches. We would advise that, if your pet becomes unwell and has continuing sickness and diarrhoea, you should make an appointment to have your pet seen. It appears that many dogs are becoming unwell even though they have not visited beaches, so it may be that this is a general illness amongst dogs.

"Our Coastal Services team regularly inspect the beaches for signs of any irregular occurrences and at present there is nothing unusual; however, this will continue to be monitored and action will be taken, if and when necessary. We encourage people to be aware and mindful, and if they are on the beach, or anywhere, not to let their dogs off the lead, so that owners can see what the dogs are picking up and potentially eating.

"The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is aware of the incidents and is in contact with the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

"If you are unsure of anything whilst using our beach areas, please contact our Coastal Services team on 01262 678255 or email"


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