Cautious all-clear on mystery dog virus

Lexi, beloved pet who had to be put to sleep after contracting the virus.
Lexi, beloved pet who had to be put to sleep after contracting the virus.

There have been no new reported cases of the deadly virus which has killed at least three dogs and struck down many others in and around Kirkcaldy.

The authorities and vets have given a cautious all-clear to pet owners to use the parks and beaches again.

A spokesman for St Clair veterinary clinics, said: “We’d like to report that throughout this week we, as a practice, have not seen any cases with symptoms that may be suggestive of this illness. We have had several cases of gastro-enteritis but no more than would be expected at this time of year.

“We see literally hundreds of dogs each week and are situated very close to the affected areas so hopefully this is suggestive that the situation is improving. If we do start to see numbers of cases that are symptomatic of an escalation we will of course inform people via our Facebook page.

“We will also endeavour to ascertain the cause of any cases, since without knowing this it is impossible to offer accurate answers. Several other local practices we have contacted have also not seen any increase in cases so hopefully the worst has passed.”

Graham Dodds of Albavet added: “We have had no further reports of cases. Since there is no definite proof of any link to the areas it is hard to say they must be avoided. It is also impossible to give any accurate time-frame of safety since we are still clueless to the cause.

“I would recommend dogs are up to date with vaccinations and do not let them swim or eat anything lying on beaches in case there is anything toxic.”

Linda Turner, environmental health manager, said Fife Council had not heard of any more cases: “Coastal-based staff will continue to keep a look out and, if anyone sees anything they believe may be harmful, they should report it on 03451 550022. Our remit is to protect the health of the people of Fife.”

Facebook group welcomes advice

A Facebook group set up to monitor cases and share information on the virus has welcomed the fact that no new cases have been reported.

Jill McMahon (27) from East Wemyss, one of the administrators, was devastated when her cocker spaniel Lexi (4) had to be put to sleep after contracting the virus.

“I’m delighted that there are no more cases, but there should be some sort of database set up to collate information for future use,” she said.