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Healthy husky dies after eating 'crab-like creature' on Felixstowe beach sparking warning to dog owners

PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:01 17 January 2018

Chris Poole is devastated that his dog died after eating a crab on Felixstowe beach.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Chris Poole is devastated that his dog died after eating a crab on Felixstowe beach. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dog owners are being warned after a second pet died on the region's coast in just over a fortnight - this time on Felixstowe beach.

Chris Poole at the spot on Felixstowe beach where his dog ate the crab.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChris Poole at the spot on Felixstowe beach where his dog ate the crab. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Chris Poole took his seven-year-old Siberian husky for a walk at Felixstowe Ferry last Saturday.

The 56-year-old was stunned when their stroll resulted in the death of his dog – who he described as fantastic, fit and healthy – within 90 minutes of leaving the beach.

Now Mr Poole, from Kirton, is speaking out to warn others.

He said: “I just want to stop it happening to anyone else.

Chris Poole walking along the beach near Felixstowe Ferry.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChris Poole walking along the beach near Felixstowe Ferry. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Every two weeks I take him down the beach for a treat.

“He was on the lead the whole time and we walked about half a mile on the coastal path.

“I let him put his feet in the water and he grabbed something off the top of a post which had been left there by the tide.

“I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I could see it wasn’t fishing net or anything dangerous so I didn’t fight him for it.”

About ten minutes later Mr Poole put his dog into the back of his car and drove home.

When they got out of the car, his pet hopped out and started being sick in the back garden.

He added: “I began to think ‘what on earth is happening?’

“He was sick about five or six times and I saw crab claws in amongst the sick.

“Then he came into the kitchen looking not too bad and lay down.

“He laid under the table for a few minutes, and all of a sudden he tried to get up and he couldn’t - he was paralysed.

“He dragged himself on his front to the door.

“We shot to the vets. The fear of Christ hits you – it was just a bit of sickness and suddenly it was dramatically more serious. We were losing him on the way there.

“We were rushed in and the vet saw him straight away. He gave him oxygen and adrenaline and was massaging his heart.

“He may well have died before we got there, and he may have been dead when I carried him in.”

News of this latest incident comes after a Halesworth family lost their beloved golden retriever Hattie after she ate a fish that washed up on Cley beach in Norfolk.

Chloe Thomas and her family were walking on the beach on New Year’s Eve when the incident happened.

The death of Mr Poole’s dog has been reported to the Environment Agency, who confirmed that the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science will be carrying out an investigation.

‘Owners need to be vigilant’

An animal nursing assistant is calling on dog owners to be vigilant after spotting several social media reports of dogs becoming ill from eating fish on beaches in East Anglia.

Hayley Brock, who works at Vets4Pets in Ipswich, said people need to be aware of the dangers before more pets get seriously ill or are killed.

The dog owner, who lives in Henley, said: “I think it’s crucial that people know how dangerous it can be.

“Dog owners really need to be vigilant – I would be devastated if I lost my dog so I want to stop it from happening to others.

“As far as I can see this is the first one reported in Suffolk so far anyway.

“Owners can give their pets muzzles on the beach to stop them eating fish and crabs, which appears to be causing the latest problems.

“It’s either that or keep them off the beach until investigations are carried out by authorities which I believe are now happening.”

For more help and advice, visit the RSPCA website.

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