A dog owner was left with a £12,000 vet bill when her Staffordshire Bull Terrier swam in polluted seawater and fell ill – after a Great Dane died while swimming in the same area.
Nalu, who is eight months old, contracted a serious infection while swimming in Langstone Harbor on Hayling Island, which left her owner Louisa Moss, 47, “terrified.”
The dog became so sick that he had to be placed on a ventilator and struggled to breathe while only a quarter of her lungs were working and her owners were told she might die.
She spent six days at a veterinary specialty referral center called Lumbry Park in Alton with aspiration pneumonia and E.coli and her owners were not allowed to visit her.
Mrs Moss said: ‘We think it was because she was swimming in the sea as we live near Langstone Harbour, we used to walk her there and take her in the water to get her used to the water, because we have a boat and wanted her to come with us.
‘We ended up with a bill of around £12,000 because the vets told us she wouldn’t make it if she stayed with them because they didn’t have the equipment. It was so traumatic. I was in tears every day, it was one of the worst experiences of my life.’
Nalu (pictured), who is eight months old, contracted a serious infection while swimming in Langstone Harbor on Hayling Island, leaving her owner Louisa Moss, 47, “terrified”
Ms Moss said: “I emailed Southern Water and said I thought my dog got sick after being in the water. They don’t believe the sea is dirty and said it has always tested as clean there.
“It’s not just dogs, people get sick from being in the water and stuff. We kayak and take our paddle boards with us.
“Now I’m just constantly afraid she’s going to get sick again. I won’t let her in the water again and everyone I’ve talked to has said they’re not going in the water now either.’
Ms. Moss says she plans to take Southern Water to small claims court because she believes they are guilty of Nalu’s disease.
Nalu’s illness comes after dog owner David Arthur, 59, revealed this week that his Great Dane Odin died as a result of swimming in the sea on Hayling Island’s beach.
The dog became so sick that he had to be placed on a ventilator and struggled to breathe while only a quarter of her lungs were working and her owners were told she might die. Pictured: Langstone Harbor
Arthur, from Cowplain, Hants, had already spent £6,000 on Odin’s treatment, but vets said the dog’s lungs had been damaged too much from pneumonia.
Vets pointed to the sea as a likely cause of infection and the dog was put to sleep.
Odin’s death from bronchial pneumonia came after Southern Water was fined £90million last year for deliberately pouring wastewater into the sea.
Arthur was offered £500 from Southern Water as a goodwill gesture, but the company refused to accept that the water in the area was unclean.
Nalu’s illness comes after dog owner David Arthur, 59, revealed this week that his Great Dane Odin (pictured) died as a result of swimming in the sea on Hayling Island beach
Mr Arthur said, ‘We are heartbroken. Odin was a fit and healthy dog - probably the strongest we’ve had in 40 years.
‘He was absolutely fit as a violin, lively, so full of life and in your face.
“I have other dogs, but the difference is that every day Odin would swim out of his depths into the sea. We think contamination got into his lung and caused an infection.”
In June, Hayling Sewage Watch collected more than 2,000 signatures from people calling for “help to prevent Hayling’s beaches from being polluted with untreated sewage.”
Group member Mike Owens said: ‘We know from our own testing and the regular reports of illness from water users that the seas around Hayling are regularly polluted by runoffs containing untreated sewage.’
In October, the Environment Agency warned people in the area not to enter the water because of an ‘abnormal situation’ after residents reported sanitary products and wet wipes along the beach.
Mr Arthur, 59, (pictured with Odin) from Cowplain, Hants, had already spent £6,000 on treating Odin but vets said the dog’s lungs had been damaged too much from pneumonia
A Southern Water spokesperson said: ‘We are sorry to hear that Mrs Moss’ dog has become ill. We understand how a bereaved pet owner would look for someone to blame, but there is no evidence that we are directly or indirectly responsible.
‘The beaches around Hayling Island have the highest quality water in the country – tested all summer by the Environment Agency and the results have been published on the Defra website. About 78 of the 83 beaches in our area are “excellent” or “good” by the government’s rating and none are less than acceptable.
“To ensure that recreational water users can make informed decisions about whether or not to go to sea, we publish every release of rainwater in near real time 365 days a year.”
Arthur was offered £500 from Southern Water as a goodwill gesture, but the company refused to accept that the water in the area was unclean. Pictured: Hayling Island Beach