It is advisable to keep your pets away from Kits Beach for the foreseeable future. Nearly two weeks after it was reopened for swimming, Vancouver’s Kits Beach was closed once again because of an E.Coli outbreak.

Vancouver Coastal Health water sample found over 1,700 E. coli per 100 millilitres of water. Under Canadian recreational water quality guidelines, beach closures are advisable when officials find a sample that exceeds 400 E. coli per 100 millimetres of water. So

E coli is one of the most common types of bacteria found in the world and it is a normal inhabitant of the gastrointestinal tract of all animals. Under certain circumstances, bacteria can also be responsible for causing disease.

A major contributor to E. coli in the water comes from fecal matter, both human and animal. E coli can make both humans and pets sick. Some strains can cause severe disease which can lead to diarrhea and kidney disease. While it is not often a serious problem in most dogs, an effected stool samples which in turn can infect people.

Dogs and cats can be infected with E. coli in a similar way that people can get infected; by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. There have been many recalls of commercial pet food diets and treats involving contamination with E. coli. Ingestion of these diets and treats could potentially cause infection in your dog or cat, and could potentially allow your pet to become an unfortunate carrier of the disease as well.


Warning Signs 

While Kits Beach is back open, to protect your pets, keep an ear out for any more news about E. coli. It’s important to stay on top of diet information, as there is a concern that feeding your pet a raw diet may result in an increased risk of shedding E. coli in the feces.

Some of the things most commonly seen in pets and humans with E. coli are symptoms of depression, dehydration, lack of appetite, and vomiting. E. coli can cause colibacillosis disease in dogs, which often occurs in the lower intestines. Although the bacteria is generally benign, it can greatly affect puppies, especially those that are deprived of essential antibodies like colostrum. Likewise, cats can experience similar symptoms as well as urinary distress and fever.


Sewage Troubles

The beach reopened at the beginning of August after a nearly week-long closure due to E. coli limits nearly three times the safe limit. Earlier this summer, high E. coli levels forced the closure of Sunset Beach and Trout Lake – both of which have reopened. Only Snug Cover on Bowen Island remains closed.

Vancouver Coastal Health hasn’t explained the most recent high E. coli readings, but members of the park board have blamed the city’s archaic sewage system. Most of the city still relies on a combined system, which includes several outflows that empty out into the waters of English Bay and other coastal waters.

If you have any questions about E.coli or any other pet health concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our knowledgeable staff members or book an appointment.