Jellyfish are one of the most attractive sea creatures you can ever come across.
With their long tentacles and their smooth surfaces, they look irresistible!
It is therefore not surprising to see your pet, specifically a dog, running towards a jellyfish and try to play with it or even put it in their mouth.
However, despite their outward “aesthetics”, they are a death trap! Jellyfish have been found to be very harmful to dogs when ingested. They can cause adverse effects that will put the life of your dog at risk through their nasty sting.
Therefore, never forget to put your dog as far away from a jellyfish as is possible the next time you are having a picnic or jog at the beach!
We know you are asking yourself how can a creature as lovely as the jellyfish be potentially lethal to your dog’s health and even life.
Well, jellyfish have toxins that are mostly concentrated in the nematocysts (cells) which are found in its tentacles.
It is these tentacles that cause the stinging sensation that dogs feel and it is through the stinging that the toxins are released into your dog resulting in a wide range of worrying symptoms.
What Do People Think and What Are Their Experiences?
If you think your dog eating just a single jellyfish is enough for you to panic, there is a story of a dog who ate 10 of them!
The situation was so dire that the vet had to induce vomiting to save the dog’s life.
The vet informed the owner that had the dog been stung by the jellyfish, the dog would have experienced “local” allergic reactions to the skin or mouth depending on where he or she was stung.
However, because they had eaten the jellyfish-actually 10 of them-the dog experienced a gastrointestinal reaction that manifested itself through a severe bout of diarrhea.
The vet advised that the best course of action to take whenever this happens is to seek the assistance of a vet.
He also suggests that if you think that your dog just had contact with a jellyfish at its mouth, you can rinse their mouths as soon as you can.
Experts also say that even a washed-up jellyfish can be equally as harmful as a living jellyfish and that they can still be able to sting.
They recommend that in the case where you have established that your dog has been stung, you can also pull out the tentacles with a stick or a towel.
You also have to be careful to avoid coming into contact with the tentacles.
What are the Symptoms That Show Your Dog Has Eaten a Jellyfish?
There are some signs that will alert you that your dog has ingested a jellyfish.
Some of the most common signs may include excessive drooling and swelling.
You may also notice your dog trying to lick the area that the jellyfish stung them.
Difficulty in breathing is also a very common thing when it comes to the effects of a jellyfish sting on a dog.
Your dog may also appear unusually quiet and lethargic.
They may also suffer from a serious case of itching.
Diagnosis of Jellyfish sting in dogs
When you take your dog to the vet, the diagnosis is effectively done by carefully analyzing the symptoms that the dog is displaying.
This will help the vet to establish the severity of the dog’s condition and advise you accordingly.
Here, the vet will also establish what type of jellyfish may have stung your dog.
This is especially very important as it helps to determine what type of treatment your dog should be given.
This can be done by bringing the remains of the jellyfish to the clinic for analysis.
Jellyfish Sting Treatment
The first course of action to take is to remove the jellyfish or its tentacles from your dog.
The treatment process begins with this step to ensure the chemical reactions that will cause harm and unpleasant symptoms to your dog are halted.
One of the most recommended ways is to apply seawater, meat tenderizer, vinegar, or a 70% alcohol solution on your dog on the specific area that they have been stung.
Through this, the tentacles on or in your dog will not release toxins any further.
The veterinary may also recommend and administer antihistamines to minimize the effects of the following:
- Swelling on their bodies
- Reducing the chances of skin damage that may result from excessive scratching of their itching skin
Future Proactive Measures to Take
In light of all the harmful effects that a jellyfish can cause your dog, you need to take some proactive measures to keep your dog out of harm’s way.
You can choose to take your dog to a beach that is “monitored”.
What does this mean?
There are a number of beaches that effectively communicate the presence of jellyfish and other creatures that are potentially harmful to your dog.
This will help you to avoid the mistake of your dog finding and eating a jellyfish.
This beach, therefore, guarantees their safety.
In case you and your dog encounter a jellyfish when you are walking on the beach, inform the lifeguard.
So that the jellyfish can be removed immediately.
Jellyfish contain toxins that are very harmful to your dog.
If they sting your furry friend or if your dog decides to eat the jellyfish, they will suffer from a lot of harmful reactions such as
- General discomfort
It is therefore important to always stay by your dog when you are at the beach.
Ensure that they do not come into contact with a jellyfish at all costs!
In addition, you should watch out for the symptoms we have shared above.
At times, you may not be able to be constantly by the side of your dog.
Keenly observing these signs while you are at the beach with your furry friend may alert you to the possibility that they are suffering the effects of eating a jellyfish or a jellyfish sting.