For a human, a jellyfish sting is simply painful (unless you’re allergic) but for our four-legged friends, an encounter could be fatal.
The warning comes after two puppies on Seaburn beach in Sunderland became violently ill after licking a jellyfish.
Both puppies had to be rushed to the vets, as they began projectile vomiting and couldn’t breathe. Both dogs vomited around ten times each during the journey.
The horrific experience has prompted Head Vet at tails.com Sean McCormack, to share a warning to other dog owners. He is urging dog owners to look out for jellyfish at the beach as they can be extremely dangerous for your canine companions.
Head Vet Sean comments on the dangers of jellyfish for dogs: “Jellyfish washed up on the beach may not look too dangerous. But the slimy sea creatures can result in a trip to the vets for your four-legged friend. While washed-up jellyfish may be dead, they still have the ability to sting.
“Across the country it’s not uncommon to see jellyfish lurking in shallow water or washed up on the beachfront, some beaches even have signs warning visitors to take care when paddling or enjoying the beach. It’s no secret that dogs love to explore every section of the beach. However, it’s extremely important to keep a close eye on them if there is a risk of jellyfish.
“Their stings can be extremely painful to dogs and can result in drowsiness, vomiting and can cause them to struggle to breathe. If you spot a jellyfish, no matter what size, it’s best to put your four-legged friend on a lead and move to a different part of the beach, to prevent the risk of injury.
“If you’re taking a trip to the beach with your furry friend, be sure to stay alert and ensure they don’t come in contact with anything that poses a threat to them. “
What should you do if your dog is stung by a jellyfish?
“If your dog has been stung by a jellyfish, the first concern is to remove any stingers. This can be done by soaking the area stung in seawater to prevent any further toxins from being released by the tentacles. It’s important to never use freshwater hot or cold, as it promotes the release of neurotoxins, which cause more stinging and pain!
“If you have ice available, apply for 10 to 15 minutes to reduce pain in the affected area, but don’t apply the ice or cool pack directly to the skin, wrap it in a towel or bag.
“Avoid letting your pup lick or scratch the affected area, as this can cause the sting to spread. When cleaning the area, make sure your towel and hands are clean, and never rub the area with sand or other rough materials. Next, let the skin and fur dry naturally whilst you ring the vets who will advise you if any further action is needed”.
What are the signs your dog has been stung by a jellyfish?
“When dogs have been stung by a jellyfish they experience the same way we do, but they can also have additional side effects. These are the most common symptoms;
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excessive drooling and itching
- Difficulty breathing
- Licking the stung area
- Muscle cramps
- Crying and stinging
If your dog starts to display the signs of a jellyfish sting, contact your vet straight away.