A FIFE woman feared for her dog’s life after an encounter with grit caused a terrifying reaction.

Helen Currie was walking Cleo near Rosyth's Parkgate Community Centre on Tuesday last week when her pet started to draw her paws up and shake.

“I thought she was having a heart attack,” Helen said.

“She collapsed on to her side and was violently trembling.

“I tried to clean her paws then, when she was able, she tried to lick them, after which she was coughing.

“When she recovered a bit, her paws were fine for the rest of the walk as long as she was in the thick snow.

“We spent a couple of hours in the park but she was still coughing – we avoided anywhere with grit on the way home.”

The incident left Cleo with a slight cough over the next few days and Helen has warned other dog owners to be careful, telling the Press that other dogs had also been affected.

Helen posted on the Rosyth Billboard Facebook group page and was met by other people who had the same experience with their dogs.

One person posted: “Poor Cleo – I had the same thing with my dog yesterday. He was fine until we crossed the entrance road (to the park). He sort of seized up and face-planted into the snow gathered at the side! I thought he was having a stroke or something. I just carried him home and put him in the shower to clean his feet and snowballs off his legs. He was okay afterwards.”

Another said: “Something’s definitely not right! The same thing happened to us today with our Jack Russell. We took him out today and walked past the Institute (Parkgate Community Centre) and up Backmarch Road then all of a sudden, he pulled up his back legs and started shaking, then he couldn’t walk properly. We had to carry him for a bit until he recovered and the same thing happened on the way back down. When we got him home, we washed his paws and he seems to be fine now but obviously there is something very dangerous in the grit that shouldn’t be there if it’s toxic for animals.”

The centre is currently being used as a COVID-19 vaccination venue, with Fife Council working with NHS Fife to keep the area safe and clear of snow and ice for locals to get their jags.

A Fife Council spokesperson told the Press that its officers continued to use the same mixture of rock salt and grit on paths and in grit bins as they have done for many years across Fife, adding that they were unsure of what had caused the issue.