A day at the beach turned into a goodbye to a best friend for Chris Taylor.
The South Florida University student, 29, often took his water-loving Labrador retriever O.G. to the beach in Dunedin, Florida. According to WFLA, Monday was no different. After class, Taylor and O.G., who have been together for seven years, went to hang out in the sun and surf for a few hours at Honeymoon Island State Park Dog Beach.
After a great time the Lab and his owner headed home, where O.G. started vomiting and experiencing diarrhea which lasted until the next day. O.G. managed to drink some water and eat a little of the boiled chicken and rice Taylor cooked him on Tuesday, but by Wednesday the dog wasn’t eating and was wandering around almost unresponsive.
Fearing something serious, Taylor rushed his canine companion to the vet. Unfortunately, it was too late: The vet revealed to Taylor that his dog was suffering from saltwater poisoning.
Salt poisoning, as Pet Poison Hotline points out, can be very damaging to dogs and cats.
According to the site, “salt poisoning in dogs and cats results in clinical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, lethargy, walking drunk, abnormal fluid accumulation within the body, excessive thirst or urination, potential injury to the kidneys, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death when untreated.”
Pets can get salt poisoning from ingesting larger amounts of saltwater. This was the case with O.G., who, even though he had been to the beach countless times, accidentally took in too much water during his last visit.
By the time the black Lab got to the vet, he was dehydrated and suffering brain damage and seizures. Nothing could be done to save him.
“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,” Taylor told WFLA.
After having lost his best furry friend, Taylor is sharing O.G.’s story to prevent saltwater poisoning from killing other pets.
Vets recommend limiting your pet’s time at the beach and in the water to just one or two hours to prevent saltwater poisoning. This illness can appear to come on gradually, which means it is often too late to help an affected animal by the time they arrive at the vet, as saltwater poisoning can quickly affect the brain.
If you suspect your pet might be suffering from saltwater poisoning it is important to get them to the vet as soon as possible so the “careful administration of IV fluids, electrolyte monitoring, treatment for dehydration and brain swelling, and supportive care” necessary can begin, according to Pet Poison Hotline.