Saturday 19 August 2017

Pet owner shocked as dogs fall seriously ill after contact dangerous jellyfish: 'She began to vomit and foam at the mouth'

Two dogs had severe anaphylactic reactions after coming into contact with a Lion's Mane jellyfish
Two dogs had severe anaphylactic reactions after coming into contact with a Lion's Mane jellyfish
Lions mane jellyfish out at the Forty Foot in Sandycove Dublin today people are asked not to go in Credit: Fergal Phillips
A Lion's Mane Jellyfish spotted in Bettystown
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

Pet owners have been urged to keep their dogs on leads while walking on the beach as two animals fell seriously ill after coming in contact with dangerous jellyfish in Dublin this weekend.

The Labradors were rushed to the vet after they began to vomit and foam at the mouth on Skerries beach after making contact with a Lion’s Mane jellyfish on Friday.

Owner Maja Ziolkowska said one of her dogs, Pixel, began to vomit on the beach and was dragging her head along after she was stung on the nose and leg. A few minutes later her dog Tasi began to experience similar symptoms.

The dogs were critically ill after the incident but have made a recovery this morning.

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

"She was dragging her head along and it was quite scary. A few minutes later the other one began to have the same symptoms. 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.

Lion's Mane jellyfish found at Templetown Beach, Co Louth
Lion's Mane jellyfish found at Templetown Beach, Co Louth

"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. Luckily, the dogs are doing fine now."

A spokesperson from the DSPCA has warned pet owners to keep their dogs on leads while walking on the beach as a means of prevention.

“People have to keep their pets on leads. It would be our advice to avoid letting your dog swim in the sea anyway, but particularly if there’s a risk they could be stung," said Gillian Bird, Education Officer at the DSPCA.

"Like 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 of it.

“Unfortunately we can’t police the beach and the oceans for jellyfish so our best advice for prevention would to be just keep them on the lead,” she said.

Lions mane jellyfish out at the Forty Foot in Sandycove Dublin today people are asked not to go in Credit: Fergal Phillips
Lions mane jellyfish out at the Forty Foot in Sandycove Dublin today people are asked not to go in Credit: Fergal Phillips

Beaches along Ireland’s east coast have issued several warnings this summer, urging swimmers to be cautious of the Lion’s Mane jellyfish which has the potential to cause serious allergic reactions in those that are stung.

John Leech of Irish Water Safety revealed that there is at least one hospitalisation in Ireland each year following a sting from a Lion’s Mane jellyfish and swimmers in Louth, Meath, Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford should be extremely vigilant.

“Everyone who is swimming this week in beaches along the East coast should be conscious of these Lion’s Mane jellyfish, which have been brought in with the spring tide in their numbers,” he said.

“They have the potential to cause an anaphylactic reaction in someone who is stung, if they should be allergic, but much like a bee sting, you don’t know until you’ve been stung.

“We have seen a number of people hospitalised from this jellyfish and its sting is quite painful and different to other jellyfish found in Irish waters.

“The sting from their tentacles may last for days after they have died,” he said.

“If you get stung, you need to wash it with salt water and remove the tentacles as soon as you can. Place a dry cold pack against it. As with anything, if the pain does not die down or the sting appears particularly bad, seek medical attention and go to A&E,” he said.

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