A Trowbridge woman who runs a dog boarding business is warning people about a deadly bug which killed her own dog and affected her business.
Laura Grant, from Wilton Drive, runs Little Paws Boarding and owns three Chihuahuas, one-year-old Vinnie, five-year-old Timmy and three-year-old Lilly – who died on Monday last week.
She regularly walks the dogs in a park off Wiltshire Drive and she believes last Saturday – when she went on a 50-minute walk while her children, Dexter, two, and Shay, 10, played in the playground – was when the dogs picked up the bug.
She said: “Lily was fine on Sunday. The dogs went to bed as normal and they had a treat as they always do.
“I came down Monday morning to let them out of their crate and she was covered in blood and her own faeces. She was wobbly and not herself.”
The vet advised Miss Grant to give Lilly chicken and rice, plenty of water and to monitor her, but when Miss Grant told them how bad Lilly was she took her straight to the surgery.
“By that time her body had gone into shock because she had lost so much blood and fluids, said Miss Grant. "
"They were trying to get a drip in her, but all her veins had closed.”
Lilly died at the vet’s that Monday, on Dexter’s birthday, and the vet put it down to an infection through bacteria.
Miss Grant said: “It is a nasty viral infection that is on the ground, possibly from deer, rabbits or foxes.
“I was worried for my own dogs and a client’s dog, who was only one week into a two week stay.”
A couple of days later Vinnie and Timmy became ill with sickness and diarrhoea, meaning more trips to the vet.
Miss Grant bought a monitoring system to see how they were doing during the night.
The two dogs are now recovering on antibiotics and shots of medicine, but Miss Grant has had to cancel a client whose dog had been booked in to stay for a week.
She said: “I cannot pin point a time in my life where I have felt so emotionally and physically drained.
“I couldn’t eat, sleep and didn’t want to go out in case I came back to something else, because they deteriorated so quickly. It was awful”
Miss Grant spoke to Wiltshire Council to ask if anything had been sprayed on the ground and she is warning people to avoid the Wiltshire Drive area.