A PENSIONER is urging dog owners to clear up after their pets before a child gets ill.

Patricia McDavitt, who has lived in Welcombe Avenue for 50 years, is asking people who leave their pets’ mess on the pavements to use the dog bins.

The retired office worker for WH Smith said it has been happening for a few months and is worried that children walking to school will come down with illnesses associated with dog mess.

“It is happening every day. We have got the school up the road, you have got young children walking with mums with pushchairs. The children have walked in it, it’s unfair,” she said.

Patricia clears the mess up every day and thinks it must be about two or three dogs.

“I clear it up and come out the next day and it’s there again. I phoned the council about it just before Christmas and they said they would send someone out, but it would take three days. It’s just not good enough and I don’t know what else to do now. It’s happening at every fourth house along 20 or 30 houses,” she said.

“It has been going on for a good couple of months. It started well before Christmas.

“I have got a dog and I take it out and pick everything up. It really annoys me, especially as it is right where I drive in. You can see people have trodden in it because you can see where it is squashed in the ground.

“There are dog bins around more or less opposite where I live.”

The parasitic infection toxocariasis, caused by roundworms that live in the digestive system of dogs, provides the greatest health risk.

Humans become infected by ingestion of eggs in soil contaminated by dog faeces.

While toxocariasis is rare, the symptoms are unpleasant. They vary depending on where in the body the infection occurs and can include cough, stomach pain, headaches and swollen lymph glands.

“Children are walking in it, so it is only a matter of time before they take it into the schools and then it will be an epidemic. You can pick up all sorts of diseases from it,” she said.

“The toddlers don’t stop they just run straight through it.”