TWO dog owners have said the dog illness going around on North East beaches should be investigated as it could pose a danger to humans and wildlife.

After it was reported in The Northern Echo yesterday that an DEFRA was aware of an illness going around on North East beaches causing many dogs to fall ill, there was an outcry on social media of many sharing their stories.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed to The Northern Echo it is aware after dogs fell ill with “sickness and diarrhoea.”

Read more: Authorities 'aware' after vet issues urgent warning to North East dog walkers

Originating from a post by Yorkshire Coast Pet Care describing that they had been “inundated” with dogs coming off beaches with vomiting and diarrhoea, the post received an “overwhelming” response.

In an updated post late last night, Yorkshire Coast Pet Care said that “unfortunately it looks like it has been even more rife than even I had anticipated.”

This has prompted questions as to the cause of the illness and some dog owners feel that it should “definitely” be investigated.

The Northern Echo spoke two dog owners about their experience with the illness and what they felt should be done.

Cath Angell, from York, was walking her five month old working cocker spaniel puppy Roo and seven year old working cocker spaniel Penny on Fraisthorpe Beach, North Yorkshire.

The Northern Echo: Roo and Penny Picture: Cath AngellRoo and Penny Picture: Cath Angell

She said it wasn’t long before Roo had come down with “really bad sickness and diarrhoea” and at one point Ms Angell was worried the dog would not survive the ordeal.

She said: “Yeah we took the both of them, we have a seven year old working Cocker Spaniel and a five-month old working Cocker called Roo.

“So it was the first visit for her to the beach, that was on the 30th, then went to Fraisthorpe, had a couple of hours on the beach and then the next day she became poorly.

“Penny was absolutely fine but Roo had really bad sickness and diarrhoea, so we ended up at the emergency vets that night.

“She had an anti-sickness injection and brought her home, which stopped the sickness, that was the 31st on the Friday.

“We were told not to give her anything to eat for 24 hours, which we didn’t, but she still had this awful diarrhoea.

“Then we started feeding her little bits of chicken, she had no appetite, but normally she hoovers everything up.

“The diarrhoea continued again into the Monday, we had her back again to the emergency vets on the Monday, and that’s when they admitted her because she was dehydrated.

Read more: Charity shop thief who masturbated in public is banned from Durham's streets

“She needed to go on a drip and they wanted to run blood tests and x-rays on her, which all came back absolutely fine, but they couldn’t get control of the diarrhoea.

“She stayed in for the six days and it wasn’t until probably the Friday or Saturday that they started to see a bit of an improvement and then we got her back again on the Sunday.

“We went to the beach on Thursday December 30 and then on the Friday she was just her normal self, it was just sudden that she went down hill really quickly, just not good.”

Ms Angell initially did not want to return to the beach, however, she convinced herself that Rue could have picked up the virus “from anywhere.”

But after seeing the outcry of people reporting similar situations, she realised it did seem to have a link to her beach visit.

She added: “I think initially we said we wouldn’t go back to the beach again, but after we’d calmed down a bit, then the first few days before it appeared on social media, I thought, well she could have picked it up anywhere.

The Northern Echo: Roo and Penny Picture: Cath AngellRoo and Penny Picture: Cath Angell

“But then there’s so many dogs that have been poorly and so many people have messaged me and replied to my comment saying they were there the same day or a coupe of days after with their dogs and it just seems too much of a coincidence really.

Speaking on whether there should be an investigation into the cause, she stressed that many may not be able to afford the hefty vet bill that came with the incident of just over £1,500.

She said: “I think there should be some sort of investigation, because luckily we’re insured, and our bill came to just over £1,500 for that week.

“We would have managed it but some people wouldn’t have, we definitely don’t have a spare £1,000 or more to give away like that.

“In the middle of the week, I started panicking thinking, hang on a minute this is dragging on a bit, and we started to think we might lose her.

Read more: Where’s Rishi Sunak? – Why the Chancellor wasn’t in the House of Commons today

“So that was the main concern, there might be people out there who don’t have social media and aren’t aware of this issue and could have poorly dogs at home.

“I’m not angry with anyone about it but it definitely needs looking into, I don’t know how, but it definitely does.

The Northern Echo: Roo and Penny Picture: Cath AngellRoo and Penny Picture: Cath Angell

“There’s other wildlife as well, we’re aware that it’s affecting dogs but what else is it affecting?

 “She’s doing absolutely fantastic now, she’s back to her normal self, jumping around like a lunatic. She needs to put a bit of weight on but she’s really good.”

Craig Thirlaway, from Durham, agreed that there should be an investigation into the cause, explaining that whatever it is could affect children as well.

He said: “We were walking them Sunday just gone on Crimdon Beach and they have been off their food and had the runs since. They are a little better this morning.

The Northern Echo: Bobby, Rosco and Remi Picture: Craig ThirlawayBobby, Rosco and Remi Picture: Craig Thirlaway

“They’re normally very fit dogs to be honest.

Read more: 'Young' Covid patient tragically dies in Teesside hospital ICU, doctor reports

“I feel it should be investigated as if it was summer there could be kids in the water and it may become a different story.”


Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or contact 01325 505054