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Help for Dog Stung by Jellyfish

Last updated on May 20, 2014

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How many of you are taking your dog to a beach on a regular basis? Perhaps you have a pet-friendly beach nearby or you have plans to visit a beach with your dog this summer. We are proponents of pet first aid kits here at Fidose of Reality, but we recently discovered something else you should pack in a dog’s first aid kit. Take this kit along when you are taking to the beach with your pooch.

“I have friends that took a trip to the beach last year,” Fidose fan, Nanette Roberts, shares. “Unfortunately, during a morning stroll, their fur baby stepped on a jellyfish that had washed up on shore. Never even considering the possibility, they were unprepared and had to make an emergency run to the store. Now, they are prepared and always have the “Jellyfish Kit” on hand, when going to the beach.”

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Here is the treatment used  by our friends at Gulf Coast Cocker Spaniel Rescue, when one of their dogs was affected. Always check with your dog’s veterinarian. This information below is from the from The First Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats by Amy Shojai. We highly recommend this book, as Amy is a fabulous writer and the contents are a must-know for any dog or cat parent.

Treatment

  1. Wear rubber gloves – Touching the tentacles of the jellyfish with your bare hands can lead to being stung.
  2. Use rubbing alcohol – Pouring rubbing alcohol on the tentacles (70 percent or more)  stabilizing the nematocysts and prevent them from triggering more stings to the dog.
  3. Try tape – Sticky tape can be helpful in removing tentacles.
  4. Remove remains – Pour sea water or sand over anything stuck in the dog. Do not use freshwater, as toxins can be released.
  5. Administer Benadryl – Seek veterinary advice and assistance for the correct dosage for your dog.
  6. Make a baking soda paste – Pack the sting sites with a paste consisting of baking soda and water to soothe the sting.
  7. Alternate cold and heat – Cold compresses (ice wrapped in a cold, wet washcloth) help numb the sting and reduce swelling. Apply them for 10 – 30 minutes. Then, alternate with a towel covered hot compress, 5 minutes on and 5 minutes off until it cools, to bring healing blood back into the area and flush out the poison. Alternate cold and hot packs for 20 minutes.

The folks at Gulf Coast Cocker Spaniel Rescue used vinegar to substitute for the rubbing alcohol. Despite smelling like a salad, the pain was diminished.

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Coffee the Cocker gets a jellyfish toy to help cheer up during his post sting period

Did you know that meat tenderizer will also work for a jellyfish sting? Shojai writes that this, along with papain (a derivative of papaya) can help stings, too. A fresh slice of papaya relives pain instantly when applied to the sting.

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Poor Coffee the Cocker was stung by a jellyfish.

 

I’d like to thank Amy Shojai for this information and the Nanette at GCCSR for calling it to our attention. So to recap, add these items to your dog’s first aid kit if you are hitting the beach:

* Rubber gloves

* Sticky tape

* Rubbing alcohol

* Benadryl

Happy Beach Time!

 

 

Comments

  1. Lindsay says

    I recently moved to California, and I’m honestly not even sure if there are jellyfish around the beach we normally visit. There probably are. I would not have known what to do in this situation no matter who got stung (me or the dog), so this gives me some idea of where to start and how to be more prepared. Thank you.

  2. beth says

    Hi, well my dog was playing in the sea and ate a blue button jellyfish. There were a few around and when we weren’t watching she started coughing and vomiting and wretching. We gave her water, she threw that up. Off to the emergency vet on Memorial Day last year. They gave her stomach medicine to prevent her from constant vomiting and said not to feed and only give an ice cube to lick for water thru the night. She was in terrible pain, wanting to go outside to eat grass. Vet said no grass. I had to leash her to me overnight as she had a terrible stomach ache and could not stay still. It was a long night. By 4 am she finally started snoring loudly and it was finally all up hill from there.

    • Denise says

      Berth thank you so much for posting! My 1 1/2 year old lab just ate blue button jellyfish today. They were all over the beach and he immediately started vomiting on the beach. Your post really helped us help him today. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Jana Rade says

    I just recently read that with the climate changes oceans are becoming polluted by these things. We don’t have an ocean here; just garden-variety pests such as darn bald-faced hornets.

  4. Annie says

    My Buddys beach walk at Paraparam ended half hr ago with him biting a floating jellyfish l got it off his lips yes with hand covered in sand.. He then run the side effected in the sand n along grass getting back to car himself l had no idea what to do watching him…got him home and found this site baking soda paste on cloth which he rubbed off…vinger soaks he seems ok. We are on holiday so got local vets number just incase. So scary my poor man…he just gone walk about tail up and wagging so fingers crossed.

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