Last updated on May 20, 2014
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.”
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.
- Wear rubber gloves – Touching the tentacles of the jellyfish with your bare hands can lead to being stung.
- 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.
- Try tape – Sticky tape can be helpful in removing tentacles.
- Remove remains – Pour sea water or sand over anything stuck in the dog. Do not use freshwater, as toxins can be released.
- Administer Benadryl – Seek veterinary advice and assistance for the correct dosage for your dog.
- Make a baking soda paste – Pack the sting sites with a paste consisting of baking soda and water to soothe the sting.
- 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.
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.
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
Happy Beach Time!