Dogs are getting gastroenteritis on Blackpool beach

NEWS AND COMMENT: The reporting is skimpy. However, it’s clear that dogs are picking up a bug which causes gastroenteritis when they are taken for a walk on Blackpool beach. This is a famous beach in the UK. Blackpool is a well-known tourist attraction, albeit run down.

Blackpool beach

Blackpool beach. Photo: Pixabay.

The beach is a popular place for dog walkers. It appears that it has become a place which facilitates the transmission of a bacterial infection as there are reports of dogs contracting gastroenteritis and the disease is “spreading like wildfire”. I am guessing that this is an example of the transmission of a bacterial infection. However, gastroenteritis in dogs can have a cause other than a bacterial infection. It can be caused by viruses, parasites and medications and even new foods.

Sarah Reed, from the resort’s Cosy Kennels and Cattery hits the nail on the head when she says that: “Part of the problem is that it’s hard to clean up after dogs when they have diarrhoea and so other dogs naturally sniff and that’s how it spreads”.

Dogs get the bacterial infection which gives them diarrhoea. They defecate on the beach and because it’s diarrhoea it can’t be picked up in the usual way by the human caregiver. So, it remains on the beach. Dogs come along and sniff it. They pick up the bug and get diarrhoea themselves. And so, the disease is perpetuated and continues to be transmitted from dog to dog. That, I guess, is why the disease is “spreading like wildfire”.

Irene Farley’s cocker spaniel Olly went down with the bug after a walk on the beach on January 20. He’s getting better. Farley said: “He’s started to perk up now but he’s still off his food.”

The BVA (British Veterinary Association) spokesperson, Dr. Justine Shotton said that most cases of gastroenteritis in dogs are mild but, rarely, it can lead to death. This occurs when there is haemorrhaging leading to secondary complications.

P.S. This story is not solely about dogs. But it must most likely be about dogs. Other animals walking on the beach will also be likely to pick up the disease if it is coming from dog poop. Although it must be much less likely because dogs have this habit of sniffing dog poop which exposes them to the disease.

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