Why doesn’t my dog ​​drink sea water?

Due to its high salt content, sea water can be poisonous to our dog friends. Diarrhea and vomiting are the main symptoms of this intoxication, but they can also result in convulsions or coma depending on the amount of fluid consumed.

If you are planning to take your partner to Les Sables d’Olonne, Perros-Guirec or Saint-Raphaël, you will no doubt want to share with him the pleasures of the sea. or how would you react if your dog was bitten by a jellyfish …

Poisoning of sea water in dogs

Dogs are more likely to absorb sea water when swimming or quench their thirst in case of high heat and/or exercise.

  • What are the symptoms of sea water poisoning in dogs?

Drinking salt water can cause a variety of symptoms including:

  • A strong thirst
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation
  • Nerve diseases: confusion, loss of balance, convulsions or even coma
Alex Zotov/Shutterstock
  • What is the toxicity of sea water to dogs due to?

It will not escape anyone whose sea water is salty; when swallowed, salt is found in the intestine and is responsible for the call for water from the body to cause great diarrhea; Animal dehydration followed.

If the amount of sea water absorbed by the dog is large, it can also result in cerebral edema, responsible for neurological diseases and can be fatal.

It is thought that the absorption of one liter of sea water can cause severe intoxication in a 7 kg animal.

  • How to treat a dog that has been drinking sea water?

If the intoxication is mild (moderate diarrhea), you can give him a little water to drink, possibly with the addition of a diluent dressing such as Smecta®.

If there are more severe symptoms, it is necessary to immediately go to the veterinarian who can implement a treatment to counteract the electrolyte disorders caused by salt water. In the event of acute neurological signs (convulsion, coma), an important prognosis is made.

Restraint remains the best weapon: keep your dog from drinking in the sea and always bring a bowl and a bottle of water so he can quench his thirst after a swim or a game of football.

Other beach risks for my dog

Drinking sea water isn’t the only danger waiting for your beach partner.

Swimming in sea water can be beneficial, but it should take place in the best of conditions to reduce the risk of drowning in dogs. If all cats knew how to swim “by instinct”, they would not all be equally efficient and / or resistant. Watch out for sea waves, rollers and tides. Even a good swimmer can get tired of fighting against the tide of the sea. Special attention should be paid to puppies, senior dogs, small dogs and brachycephalic dogs.

Swimming for long periods of time in cold water can also cause severe hypothermia.

For dogs staying on a boat, remember to have special dog life jackets.

In any case, don’t force your partner to take a bath and, if he or she eventually throws himself or herself in the big blue, don’t take your eyes off him or her.

Why doesn’t my dog ​​drink sea water?
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  • Otitis, dermatitis and conjunctivitis

Salty sea water can irritate living tissue. It can be responsible for skin redness and itching, especially in the folds (armpit, vulva, fingers, etc.). In the ear canals, it can cause otitis. The eyes can also be affected.

To avoid these inconveniences, it is important to wash your pet thoroughly with fresh water after each swim. We can also wash the ears and eyes with a dedicated product.

For dogs with severe allergies, it is best to avoid the beach and swim in the sea.

Shells, sharp stones can cause injuries to the pads. If there are wounds, wash with fresh water. If the bleeding is heavy, compress the tip of the foot with a towel and go to a veterinarian for exploration and suturing of the wound.

Crustaceans such as crabs or sea urchins can injure animals to be examined. Sea urchin needles are painful, they need to be removed with tweezers. If the thorns are hard to get rid of, you can try a plaster with a coat of Vaseline to keep it on all night to get rid of them. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice.

Jellyfish have disease -causing properties but usually harmless cycles (at least in France). The dog is partially protected by his fur. However, he may have the wrong intuition to take the ride out of his mouth; in this case, the inflammation caused by the inflammation can lead to difficulty breathing and require you to seek medical attention immediately.

Be careful, the bottoms of the car should be washed with sea water (and not fresh water that promotes the spread of the poison). Good to know: stranded jellyfish tails retain their painful nature.

But no panic! A little caution and common sense should prevent your dog from seawater poisoning and other summer troubles.

Isabelle Vixege

veterinary doctor

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