Accidental poisoning blamed for death of dog in Ovingham

16 February 2017 9:35AM

AN OVINGHAM woman whose beloved dog died in her arms is appealing for other pet owners to take caution.

Scrumpy suffered fatal seizures after being walked along Ovingham riverside by owner, Lucy Holyoak.

And after hearing of two other dogs suffering similar symptoms, Lucy is keen to warn fellow dog walkers.

Nearly 18 months old, Scrumpy was a big part of the family, attending Lucy and husband Graham’s wedding in August last year and even joining them on their honeymoon to Wales.

On Sunday morning, Lucy took the sprocker spaniel to Ovingham riverside, to the left of Ovingham Bridge.

She said it was there that Scrumpy picked something up and began chewing on it.

Lucy got Scrumpy to drop his find and the pair continued on towards Ovingham playing fields.

It was when Scrumpy was playing with another dog that he suddenly collapsed.

Lucy, who has lived in Ovingham with husband Graham for four years, said: “His back legs dropped and he went down and was having one seizure after another.

“I rang Graham to get the car to take him to the vets and managed to pick Scrumpy up.

“He had a third seizure in my arms and I think he died then.

“We couldn’t feel a pulse.”

Scrumpy was taken to Orchard House vets in Hexham. Senior veterinary surgeon Jill Crawford said: “Unfortunately dogs are scavengers; they pick up and eat things all the time.

“It’s natural doggy behaviour. Sadly this is one of those horrible unfortunate accidents.

“There’s no reason to think this is malicious poisoning. The dog could maybe have picked up contaminated or mouldy food.”

There were also concerns for the Tyne Green area in Hexham, but Jill said the dog involved made a complete recovery and no longer believed the incidents were related.

However, the day after losing Scrumpy, Lucy heard that two other dogs who had been in the Ovingham riverside area on Sunday and Monday had also suffered seizures.

And a spokesman for the Environment Agency said it was keeping an eye on the situation.

“We have received reports of apparent dog poisoning at Hexham Tyne Green and Ovingham, which are a concern,” he said.

Northumberland County Council says it has thoroughly searched the area and found nothing ‘untoward.’

But the advice for dog owners is to keep their pets on a lead in the area until the cause is clarified.

And Lucy called on dog owners to avoid the area.

“I don’t want anybody else to go through what we’re going through,” she said.

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