Essex

Spate of dog poisonings investigated near Colchester

Dogs Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The dogs became ill after being walked near a cricket pitch

Pet owners are being warned to be vigilant after a series of possible dog poisonings.

At least two have been treated for symptoms of poisoning after being walked near a cricket pitch in Fordham Heath, Colchester, the RSPCA said.

The charity has received another report of poisoning and said it was aware of a number of other owners who said their pets had also been ill.

The RSPCA has advised dog walkers to avoid the area "until we know more".

The dogs which were treated, both suffered "severe sickness" after being walked in a field near Eight Ash Green Cricket Club in Spring Lane, the animal charity said.

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Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The RSPCA believes there are other cases and an officer is inspecting the area

Their owner, who did not want to be named, said: "My dog was constantly licking his feet...then he started burning up, he was sweating and had a temperature.

"He was having trouble breathing, his tongue and mouth were blistered and he collapsed. It was very awful."

The dogs were taken ill last week, although one had suffered similar symptoms after being walked in the area in May.

Their owner has so far faced vets bills of more than £1,000.

Poisoning symptoms

"I've spoken to other owners whose dogs have been sick and collapsed too, after walking around the field near the cricket pitch," she added.

In a statement Eight Ash Green Cricket Club said it was aware of reports of suspected poisonings and "wishes to confirm that it does not use any chemicals that will prove harmful to animals or wildlife".

The RSPCA said an inspector was investigating whether anything toxic had been accidentally or deliberately left in the area near the club.

The charity said dog owners should contact their vet immediately if their pet showed signs of poisoning, which included vomiting, appearing drunk and uncoordinated, seizures and difficulty breathing.

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