FARMING: Beware the hidden dangers at the beach

With more people choosing a “staycation” this year, and more people opting to visit beautiful UK destinations such as Northumberland rather than going abroad, there has been an increase in dogs getting into trouble at the beach.

Thursday, 15th October 2020, 12:00 am
Beaches can hold dangers for our pets.

The beach is a great place for dogs to socialise, swim and run around, but there are some things to be wary of when visiting the coast.

Jelly fish are often lining our beaches, and dogs often think it’s a great idea to lick them.

Unfortunately, licking a jelly fish often results in vomiting. Luckily this often self resolves, and after a few hours they usually feel much better. However if your dog continues to vomit they may require veterinary attention and an anti-nausea injection.

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Throwing things like tennis balls on the beach can also result in our pets having to making a trip to the vets. This is because the ball will pick up a lot of sand and this can then be ingested when your dog fetches the ball. This sand can become impacted in the intestines and cause a blockage which can result in your pet being very lethargic, off their food and vomiting. A sand impaction usually requires hospitalisation and supportive care until all the sand passes through.

Another beach danger is seaweed. This may be a fun toy to play with for many dogs, but if ingested it can become dehydrated and very firm. This can then cause an obstruction in you dog’s intestines which in some circumstances requires emergency surgery to remove.

Another important thing to remember is to always bring fresh water to the beach so that your dog doesn’t drink the sea water. Sea water can cause an imbalance in your dog’s electrolytes due to the high salt levels, which can affect the normal functions of the body. This is another scenario where dogs often require a hospital stay with us.

We are so lucky to have a wonderful coastline on our doorstep, and miles of open beaches for our dogs to enjoy. There are so many benefits of a beach visit, but please do take extra care if your four legged friend is joining you – especially if they aren’t used to the being at the beach. If your dog becomes unwell after a day out at the beach, then please contact your vet so that we can work out how best to support them.

Our Alnwick clinic is an RCVS accredited Small Animal General Practice and Farm Animal General Practice, welcoming dogs, cats, birds, exotics, poultry, small mammals, cattle, deer, equine, pigs, sheep, goats and camelids. We offer continuity of care if you wish to see a specific vet please let us know when making an appointment.