Family are 'heartbroken' at death of their beloved Staffordshire bull terrier cross they say caught killer infection in flooded garden

2 months ago
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A family are 'heartbroken' after their rescue dog died by contracting E. Coli from flooding in the garden - causing a horrific skin infection.

Irene McGhee, 39, adopted Chase, a Staffordshire bull terrier cross, at just 18 months old - hoping he might bring her youngest daughter out of her shell, but he sadly died after contracting the infection.

This comes after devastated pet owners previously told MailOnline how their healthy dogs have come into contact with algae and suffered horrendous symptoms such as fits, seizures, 'toxic' diarrhoea and being sick, including 'healthy' three-year-old Jack Russell-Chihuahua mix Teddy, who came in contact with the algae on a beach walk and passed away just 19 hours later.

Chase had been rescued and returned twice previously from the Hamilton SPCA, but the family fell in love immediately.

The Drumchapel in Scotland family looked after Chase for seven years, until problems arose in November 2022.

Poor weather conditions had caused flooding in Ms McGhee's back garden, and after reporting it to Pineview Housing Association, she was told to wait until summer to see if the situation improved.

Irene McGhee (right), 39, adopted Chase (left), a Staffordshire bull terrier cross, at just 18 months old - but he died after contracting E. Coli from flooding in the garden

Chase had been rescued and returned twice previously from the Hamilton SPCA, but the family fell in love immediately

The algae in Ms McGhee's back garden, that she believes caused the E. Coli in her dog Chase

In April this year, Chase began to lose fur and develop small lumps and cuts on his skin.

Immediately concerned, Ms McGhee took Chase to the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a veterinary charity.

There he was examined and given antibiotics for any infection - but after 13 weeks of treatment, his condition only got worse.

The family went to a second vet, where a swab was taken of Chase's wounds - four days later, they were informed that Chase was suffering from E. Coli.

Ms McGhee believes that the only place that E. Coli could have come from is from the flooding and algae left in her garden.

Ms McGhee began contacting the housing association daily, concerned about Chase and about the potential harm that could be caused to her and her children.

Ms McGhee alleges that it took 12 weeks, from May until September for the housing association to take action - and says they only remedied the situation after the loss of Chase. Sadly, two weeks ago, the family's beloved dog passed away.

Ms McGhee and her family are heartbroken and says that the housing association need to take responsibility for the lack of action and the death of Chase.

'Chase was a brilliant dog,' said Ms McGhee. 'We got him at eighteen months. We were his third owners, because he kept getting sent back - he didn't like other animals.

'When we took him, he was absolutely fine. We had him for five years before he passed away two weeks ago.

'He had had raised lumps and he was losing fur. We took him to the PDSA, who said that it might be a skin allergy, so she gave him steroids. She thought it was infected too, so she gave him antibiotics.

'We were at the PDSA for thirteen weeks, and after thirteen weeks, it kept getting worse.

'She told me she didn't know what else to do - she just told me that he was suffering. She told us that if we got money to go to a private vet, they could do a biopsy.

'We took him to the private vet, who took a swab. She told us immediately that there was an infection in his body and that she could smell the dead flesh.

'She took a swab and gave him some antibiotics, and then phoned me back about four or five days later to tell us that the antibiotics wouldn't work for Chase.

'She told me he had E. coli in his skin. I asked where he'd got it from and she said to me that it wasn't anything that he'd eaten or drank, he'd had a cut somewhere in his body - he's stood in dirty water.

'The only place that he would've been in dirty water is in my back garden, because those puddles were lying there since last November.'

Ms McGhee claims to have gone to every length to inform the housing association of her situation - contacting them initially when the problem began, and then contacting them daily once it was revealed that the situation could have caused Chase's E. Coli.

'There was no drainage in the back. When I got the Housing Association in November, they told me to wait until summertime because it was just that time of year.

'I phoned them back out in May - we didn't know then that it was E. coli. They had a look in the back and said they definitely need to get drainage done and they would get it done ASAP.'

In April this year, Chase began to lose fur and develop small lumps and cuts on his skin

Staffordshire bull terrier cross, Chase who developed large open wounds as a result of E. Coli

Ms McGhee believes that the only place that E. Coli could have come from is from the flooding and algae left in her garden

'Obviously, when we took Chase to the private vet and found out it was E. Coli, I was constantly on the phone, every day, asking them what's happening and when they're coming to do the drainage.

'At first, they were saying it was because they were trying to find somebody, and then they said that they had to get three quotes from people.

'I told them I'd had enough - if this is what it's doing to my dog, what is it doing to me and my three kids?

'They told us they would take the first quote and send someone out, but it took them twelve weeks to actually get someone to come out.

'They had someone come out last month to do the drainage, but there was still green algae and water lying out the back, and that was after the drainage had been done.

'When they saw the story in the news, they had someone out to returf the back garden last week.

'After they told us there was E. Coli in the back, I haven't used the garden since. I'm not taking the chance. I'm not going back out there until I know for definite the E. Coli is gone.

'They did say they would send someone out to take soil samples - but I emailed them two weeks later and they told me they aren't coming.'

Ms McGhee and her family are struggling both with the loss of their beloved Chase, and with the lack of compassion from the Pineview Housing Association.

'I'm absolutely disgusted with the way they've handled this. They haven't cared. I kept telling them to think about what it's doing to me and my kids - they don't know where this has come from.

'My youngest girl is absolutely distraught. We got Chase to help her, because she's autistic. Chase brought her out of her shell, and she was talking.

'Now that Chase has passed away, she's went back into herself and she's having a bit of a hard time at home and at school. She doesn't talk as much, she's just crying.

'We're all heartbroken and distraught. This isn't what we wanted for Chase - we wanted to give him a good life.

'I just want the housing association to take responsibility for what's happened.'

A Pineview Housing Association spokesman said: 'Our thoughts are with Ms McGhee and her family at this time.

'At Pineview Housing Association we take any concern raised by our residents very seriously and we consider that we have acted reasonably and responsibly in this case.

'We are committed to always providing a high standard of service and this has been reflected in our most recent independent tenant satisfaction survey which demonstrated very high levels of satisfaction.

'We are very sorry to hear about the passing of Ms McGhee's dog and we recognise how upsetting the loss of a much-loved pet must be.'

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