Sea Hare Threat to Dogs

Sanford Veterinary Clinic is warning that sea hares (aplysia gigantea) are being spotted regularly washed up on Geraldton beaches. This occurs every summer in the midwest. 

Contact such as licking, biting, ingesting or even rubbing against these sea hares can be fatal to a family pet.  They contain a toxic cocktail of poisons that are lethal to pets and dogs are often attracted to them.

m9506b1Dog owners should learn to recognise these large, brown or black jelly-like creatures which can measure from 2cm to 70cm.  There have been many pet deaths in Geraldton over the past few years so it is important to supervise your pet closely when at the beach.

This can be done by keeping your pet on a leash, or keeping your pet tied to a stationary vehicle.  On arrival at the beach, be sure to check the area for sea hares along the shore line and in among seaweed clumps. This will help minimise the risk of unwanted encounters.

If you see your pet come into contact with a sea slug, direct medical attention is required.  Contact Sanford Veterinary Clinic immediately. Don't wait for adverse symptoms to appear.  There is no antidote, as the nature of the toxins is not known.

Sanford Veterinary Clinic does have a treatment protocol which has saved many pets, but early intervention is essential.

Samantha Brumpton, Trainee Veterinary Nurse, Sanford Veterinary Clinic Geraldton


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