September 24, 2010 12.18 pm This story is over 164 months old

Mystery illness kills Lincoln man’s dog

Mystery death: Dog owners are warned to be vigilant following the unexplained death of a Lincoln man’s dog.

A Lincoln man’s dog is the latest to die of a mystery illness, after going for a walk in Nottinghamshire’s Clumber Park.

Derek Broughton took his two King Charles Spaniels to the popular walking area in Sherwood Forest, along with his daughter’s pet dog.

“We never saw them stop and pick anything up at all,” Broughton said

“All hell had broken loose” later that day, when all three dogs collapsed and were almost comatose, one dying shortly after.

The death is an addition to a string of mystery illness in the area. Last year eight dogs died from similar symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhoea.

Conservationists Natural England carried out tests in the park, which concluded that the illness was not due to man-made poisoning, but a natural phenomenon.

Broughton took his dogs to Janice Dixon, a vet from McPherson and Partners 33 miles away in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire.

She said that this was the ninth dog she had treated die with the condition, and it only happened in the month of September this year and last.

“It starts in September, [when] there is more humidity and less daylight and a change in the flora and fauna,” Dixon explained.

“I think it could be a mushroom or fungus causing the illness.”

The Forestry Commission have since placed signs around the park, warning owners to be vigilant and keep their dogs on leads.

Stuart Burgess, spokesman for The Forestry Commission said: “We are very concerned that some dogs appear to become seriously ill after wallking in Forestry Commission woodland and other places in the area.

“It feels very similar to last year’s events and Natural England’s scientific tests were not able to pinpoint a reason other than to say it was not poisoning by pesticides or other man-made chemicals.

“We are asking people who walk their dogs in our woodlands in the area to keep them on a lead and watch them closely to what they are doing.

“We hope this will prevent them becoming ill but if they do, it may help to piece together the cause which remains unknown.

“If anyone does suspect their dog may be falling ill after a countryside walk in the area they should get in touch with a vet as soon as possible.”

— Later update: Property Manager for Clumber Park Beth Dawson said: “It has been reported that three dogs became ill – one of which subsequently died – after their owner walked them in local woodland areas, including Clumber Park.

“We are liaising with local vets, Natural England and the Forestry Commission to try and establish the cause and to prevent further animals becoming ill.

“We are advising dog walkers at Clumber Park to keep their pets on a lead until further notice and to consult a vet as soon as possible if their animal appears unwell.”

Related Reports: This Is Nottingham, BBC Nottingham | Photo: Lincolnian Brian