River Otter water alert

PUBLISHED: 14:24 29 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:46 15 June 2010

TESTS have been carried out on the River Otter by Environment Agency officers after a dog was left with raw paws and weeping eyes.

TESTS have been carried out on the River Otter by Environment Agency officers - after a dog was left with raw paws and weeping eyes.Five-year-old golden retriever Jess was found by a vet to have low levels of phosphorus in her system after a swim in the river.Owner Jane Dinnis, of Broadclyst, said the vet described her dog as "very poorly".Following her swim, the dog was on a drip for two days and the damaged skin on her paws meant she could walk only on grass.And Miss Dinnis was landed with a £200 vet's bill.Miss Dinnis, who works at Exeter International Airport, said she wanted to warn other dog owners to be on the lookout for similar symptoms should their pet swim in the river.She said her dog had been in and out of the water for about four hours before falling ill."The Environment Agency have told me that the cause of what happened to Jess could already have gone, but it is better to take precautions," said Miss Dinnis."She was fine after two hours there when we went to get a drink."Then, later, she was swimming round the corner from the mouth of the river, where a pool forms, and it was when she came out of there I noticed she was limping."Her paws were raw. I bathed them when we got home, but the next day her eyes were weeping and I took her to the vet. She was so poorly, she had to stay in over the weekend."A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "We initially decided not to take any samples as there had been no other reports of injury or animals in distress, and thousands of gallons of water will have flowed through there between the incident and us being told about it."Also, we could not be absolutely certain that this had been caused by the water. "It could have been something the dog stepped on. "There is phosphorous in distress flares so it could have been something like that, but that is pure speculation."However, we have decided to take samples as we are now aware of another incident in the Otter about two weeks ago. "Further up the river, fish ponds became a strange milky white colour. "It is unlikely the incidents are linked, but normally the Otter is a very clean river.

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