Fears mystery dog virus spreading inland as pup left ‘lifeless’ after canal walk

An urgent warning to dog owners has been issued over fears a mystery canine illness is spreading inland.

Nicola Jane's six-month-old dog Lurcher was left "lifeless" after a walk by a canal along with a friend's dog in Hunslet, West Yorkshire both of which became very ill within a matter of hours.

Both the dogs became very ill within hours and are fighting an infection, Leeds Live reports.

Nicola said: “On day three he started to perk up, I thought the worst of it must be over and he was getting better like my friend's dog.

“I was still concerned but his food started staying down so I thought he must have been on the mend.

“I woke up around 3am on night four, and just thought I was losing him.

“I thought he was dead, he was shaking and being sick, he was limp in my arms I thought he wasn't coming back from this.

“At that point in the night I took him to the emergency vet – I was terrified.

“He is a mess, he is like a skeleton he is that skinny. He lost that much weight.

"There was nothing on him, no life, he was limp, I thought he was gone, I thought I was losing him.”

According to the Nicola, she claims that the vet told her – having performed blood tests – that the dog had a virus originally found on beaches, but it had been spreading to canal areas.

The virus had also turned into an infection, and it is apparently a fast-moving illness from dog to dog.

She added: “It's strange, it's kind of the same impact as Covid, some dogs are handling it better, I have seen the difference first-hand between the two dogs.”

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It is unclear exactly how the dog got the virus, or what specific virus it is, but he is now thought to be reacting well to new antibiotics.

A Minster Veterinary Practice vet said that “waves of unwell pets with vomiting and diarrhoea around this time of year” are common.

She said: “Just as in the summer we often get cases of kennel cough.

“I did mention to a client at Willow Grove that I had seen a few cases of vomiting and diarrhoea, but this can be a normal occurrence this time of year.”

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