They went to play at the beach and within 48 hours his dog was gone. Now Christ Taylor wants to warn dog owners about the dangers of salt water. Chris Taylor brought his 7-year-old Labrador retriever named O.G. to the beach near Tampa, Florida, but just hours after they left the beach, O.G. came down with severe stomach problems.
The next day, he was lethargic and became increasingly disoriented. “He started to not acknowledge who I was,” said Taylor. “He just walked into the corner and stared blankly.” Shortly after Taylor was rushing his dog to the vet and faced a situation no dog lover wants ever to happen.
During his hours playing in the ocean, O.G. had drunk too much salt water and it had elevated the sodium in his body to dangerous levels. His brain had swelled and he was having seizures and he had to be humanely put to sleep.
Devastated, Taylor is speaking out to help prevent other dogs from getting salt water poisoning. Taylor has given a number of TV interviews to share his warning, but what should you look out for?
Veterinarians point out that when dogs drink too much salt water their sodium levels get too high and it affects the brain. (It should be noted that dogs can also get salt poisoning from dough ornaments, so be careful with these too.)
Here are the danger signs to look out for:
– elevated body temperature
Dogs may develop symptoms even if they are not actively drinking the salt water. That’s because they may ingest the salt water simply by playing fetch with a toy or swimming as they will be in the water with their mouths open.
So what do vets advise to do to avoid salt water poisoning?
- offer your dog frequent fresh water breaks – every 30 minutes.
- limit your dog’s time in the ocean – no more than 2 hours. (And note, the wavier the water the more water your dog may gulp down, so use your judgement)
- look for shade (so your dog doesn’t develop heat stroke too)
Don’t be afraid to have fun, vets say, but approach a day at the beach with common sense and be cautious. By following these few tips, you can avoid heartache and you and your dog can continue to enjoy fun at the beach.
Disclaimer: this article is for informational purposes and is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice. Please consult your veterinarian if your dog appears sick and is showing symptoms of salt water poisoning.