If you live by the beach, and your dog enjoys taking a dip in the ocean, it's just a matter of time before your pet comes face-to-face with a jellyfish. Once your dog's been stung by a jellyfish, you'll need to act fast. While jellyfish stings aren't usually deadly for dogs, they do cause considerable pain and discomfort. While you're packing for a day at the beach, be sure you've packed a jellyfish survival kit for your dog. Your kit should include the following items.
- Rubbing alcohol
- Rubber gloves
- Duct tape
- Over-the-counter liquid antihistamine
- Baking soda
Here are some step-by-step instructions to help alleviate your dog's discomfort if it's been stung by a jellyfish.
Neutralize the Stinging
As soon as your dog has been stung, you'll need to act fast to neutralize the stinging. If the jellyfish is still attached to your dog – or a portion of the tentacle remains – it could still be releasing toxins. To stop the release of toxins and neutralize the stinging, pour rubbing alcohol directly onto the jellyfish or the remaining tentacles.
Remove the Tentacles
Once you've neutralized the stinging, you'll need to remove the tentacles. Before you attempt to touch any portion of the jellyfish, be sure you put your rubber gloves on. This will prevent you from getting stung. Carefully lift up on the jellyfish and remove it from your dog. If it's firmly attached, cover the jellyfish with sand and then pour salt water over it. Once you've done that, use a towel to grasp the jellyfish and lift it off your dog. If any small pieces are left behind, use duct tape to lift them off.
Quell the Allergic Reaction
After you've removed the jellyfish, your dog will need treatment for the allergic reaction. That's where an over-the-counter antihistamine comes in. The antihistamine will sooth the itch, reduce swelling, and alleviate any distress your dog is experiencing.
Sooth the Pain
Your dog may be in pain after the attack. To help alleviate its discomfort, you should apply a baking soda paste directly to the stings. Combine baking soda and a small amount of water to form a soft paste. Apply the paste directly to the stings and allow it to dry. Repeat the application as necessary to sooth the pain.
Jellyfish stings are no fun. If your dog has been stung, the instructions provided here will help you provide the care it will need. If your dog has difficulty breathing, or excessive swelling following a jellyfish sting, contact a veterinarian like Gulfport Veterinarian as soon as possible.