BLUEBOTTLE STINGS AND YOUR DOG

BLUEBOTTLE STINGS AND YOUR DOG

Throughout the summer months, the Animal Poisons Helpline is frequently phoned regarding dogs that have mouthed or ingested washed up bluebottles. Occasionally mass beachings of these creatures are reported to the Helpline, typically following periods of strong onshore winds. Last month, we were notified of a mass beaching at Nelsons Beach (and possibly the surrounding beaches) in Jervis Bay, NSW.

Dogs that ingest bluebottles may be stung in the mouth and throat. These stings are immediately painful and affected dogs may drool or vomit. Stings may result in local swelling in the mouth and throat and rarely this may lead to breathing difficulties. Allergic reactions including anaphylaxis are possible.

If heading to the beach with your dog, spend a few minutes inspecting the shoreline before removing your pet’s leash, particularly in the days following strong onshore winds. If there are washed up bluebottles or other potentially dangerous marine creatures (such as jellyfish, blue buttons, pufferfish or sea hares), keeping your pet leashed is a good idea. If your pet has ingested something they should not have, please phone the Animal Poisons Helpline for advice. The Animal Poisons Helpline provides free advice to pet owners in Australia and New Zealand and can be reached on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ).