THE Environment Agency has warned members of the public to "keep away" from an area of Poole woodland after a dog suffered burn-type injuries as it splashed in a stream.

Eric, a Jack Russell and cocker spaniel cross, is believed to have played in ‘contaminated’ water in woodland at Branksome Chine on Wednesday afternoon.

The pet is being treated for open sores and a high temperature.

Owner Jenny Bronson said she walks her four dogs through the Chine most days.

“Eric, as usual, ran through the stream,” she said.

“I noticed a very foamy part of the stream, which was unusual, and pulled him out immediately. The foam was white and around the size of a football.”

Within two hours, “red raw, weeping welts” had appeared on the dog’s stomach.

“We rushed him to the vets,” Jenny said.

“The vet was absolutely perplexed by it.

“Of course, we were initially really worried that it was Alabama rot, although that usually takes a few days to appear.”

Cases of Alabama rot have been reported in Dorset and the New Forest.

The disease damages a dog’s skin and kidneys, and can be fatal.

Eric is being treated with antibiotics and Jenny has reported the incident to the Environment Agency.

“Apparently a similar report has already been made recently,” she said.

“I wanted to warn people to be careful with their dogs. It’s been confirmed that this is something toxic.

“I’ve done this walk for four years with my dogs and I’ve never had an issue before.”

A spokesperson from the Environment Agency said: “We were made aware of an incident in Branksome Wood, Poole after a dog became ill after wading through a brook on Wednesday.

"The dog walker reported river foam at the location, which can occur naturally or as a result of pollution.

"The presence of chemicals could be harmful to animals and humans so we urge everyone to stay away from this location.

"If you see anything wrong in the rivers, report it to our 24/7 hotline on 0800 807060."