A heartbroken Florida dog dad hopes his tragic story can help raise awareness to the risks of saltwater poisoning.
This lesser-known summer hazard claimed the life of Chris Taylor’s beloved pooch, “O.G.” after a fun-filled day at a local dog beach.
Last Monday, Taylor and the 7-year-old water-loving Labrador spent hours romping on the beach. Later that evening, O.G. began vomiting and suffering from diarrhea. He was lethargic on Tuesday, but drinking water and eating some of the chicken and rice Taylor boiled for him.
Come Wednesday, O.G.’s condition worsened dramatically. He wandered around in a daze, failed to respond to his name, and refused to eat. Taylor rushed him to the vet, but it was too late to save his best friend.
O.G. was in the final stages of saltwater poisoning. The excess sodium caused severe dehydration, brain damage and seizures. Taylor had no idea a day of splashing in the waves could prove deadly for his longtime pal.
“They told me, there’s nothing we can do right now. I thought, this is my son. I don’t have children of my own,” he told WFLA.
Veterinarian Katy Meyer of Tampa Bay Emergency Veterinary Services treated O.G. She says the symptoms he suffered – dehydration, seizures, and disorientation – are typical of dogs that ingest large amounts of saltwater.
“Things can come on gradually and you’re not aware of how serious things are up front,” she said. “When the brain gets affected, the body is affected.”
To prevent this deadly condition, Dr. Meyer recommends dogs spend no more than two hours at the beach with breaks every 30 minutes and plenty of fresh water to drink.
H/T & Featured Screenshot via WFLA.com