East Lothian beaches: Local vet warns pet owners after dog stung by jellyfish during Sunday afternoon walk on Yellowcraig Beach
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Maya, a three-year-old Alaskan Malamute, was left in excruciating pain after being stung in the mouth when she picked up a jellyfish while playing in the sea off Yellowcraig Beach.
Owner, Cosmo Arnott, a farm work, who lives in Ormiston, explained: “It was low tide and she was enjoying a swim, before grabbing something in her mouth which I thought was seaweed at first. She then yelped and spat it out.
"When I looked at the water, there was a swarm of jellyfish, ranging in size from a £2 coin to a dinner plate.
“She then started rubbing her face along the sand and cut her chin on the rocks. She wouldn’t let me check her face and was reluctant to walk.
"I rang my father to ask about jellyfish stings and then decided to take to the vets.
“On the way, she was howling and crying and her breathing was quitter laboured. She was bouncing off the sides of the car in distress so it was quite a traumatic journey.
“Luckily, the team at Dunedin Vets knew exactly what to do and I was glad they were there as they responded very quickly and gave her great care.”
Clinical director Margot Hunter, who treated Maya, said the practice has treated a number of dogs that had been stung by jellyfish after walking on beaches in East Lothian and the Firth of Forth.
Margot said: “Maya was one of the worst cases we’ve seen this year as she was in so much oral pain.
"She was pawing at her mouth, rubbing her face on the floor and salivating profusely when she first arrived at the practice.
“She was given an analgesic to help the acute pain and an antihistamine because of the allergic reaction as we wanted to stop her going into anaphylactic shock.
"We also gave her lots of milk as that helps to soothe jellyfish stings, along with ice cream.
“Local beaches have been covered in jellyfish during the hot weather and will be for some time to come.
"Even dead jellyfish can still sting.
“I don’t think people should avoid taking their dogs to the beach but it is important that they watch what they’re doing and not allow them to swim in the water if there are a lot of jellyfish about.
"If there are a lot of jellyfish lying on the beach, it’s perhaps worth keeping your dog on a lead.
“The danger is when they bite them or pick them up. If a dog is stung then it is important to seek veterinary advice and treatment.
"Milk or ice cream will help initially, but you should always seek veterinary advice. If a dog goes into anaphylactic shock, it could be life-threatening.
"This tends to happen quickly and they go floppy, lose control of their bodily functions and can die.”