Wednesday 19 September 2018

Dogs left vomiting and foaming at mouth after being stung by jellyfish

Maja Ziolkowska’s two Labradors, which were left seriously ill after being stung by a lion’s mane jellyfish (inset) in Skerries
Maja Ziolkowska’s two Labradors, which were left seriously ill after being stung by a lion’s mane jellyfish (inset) in Skerries

Two dogs were left critically ill after being stung by a dangerous jellyfish on a Dublin beach.

The Labradors were rushed to the vet after they began to vomit and foam at the mouth on Skerries strand after nosing around a beached lion's mane jellyfish.

Owner Maja Ziolkowska said one of her dogs, Pixel, began to vomit and was dragging her head along after she was stung on the nose and leg.


A few minutes later her other dog, Tasi, began to show similar symptoms.

"I noticed a cut on the yellow one's nose and about 10 minutes later she began to vomit and foam," said Maja.

"She was dragging her head and it was quite scary. A few minutes later the other one was the same.

"At the vet they were treated with antihistamines because they were having an allergic reaction. They were kept in overnight for observation, just to make sure their airways weren't swollen."

Both dogs recovered well after treatment.

"There are a lot of warnings on the beach for swimmers, but it's important to be aware that these can sting your dogs as well," said Maja.

"Luckily, they are doing fine now."

Local authorities along the east coast - from Waterford and Wexford in the south to as far north as Co Antrim - have issued several warnings this summer, urging swimmers to be wary of lion's mane jellyfish which can cause serious allergic reactions in those who are stung, including anaphylactic shock.

A spokesperson for the DSPCA has warned pet owners to keep their dogs on leads when walking on the beach to prevent them from being stung.

"People have to keep their pets safe when they're on the beach," said DSPCA education officer Gillian Bird. "It would be our advice to avoid letting a dog swim in the sea anyway, but particularly if there's a risk they could be stung.

"As with humans, when a dog gets stung it's important to clean the sting with seawater and remove the barbs from the skin as soon as possible.


"The worst thing is to put fresh water on it, but they say vinegar can help take away the sting.

"Unfortunately, we can't police the beach and the oceans for jellyfish, so our best advice for prevention would to be just keep dogs on the lead."

John Leech, of Irish Water Safety, said at least one person is hospitalised every year following a sting from a lion's mane.

A warning remains in place at Sandycove due to the presence of the jellyfish.

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