A DOG owner has issued a warning after fearing her beloved pooch was ‘going to die’ after contracting a serious silent viral killer of canines.
Jenny Field had headed off on holiday to Tenby, Wales with her beloved black Labrador Luna and had been enjoying the fresh sea whilst walking at the beach.
The duo from Leominster, Herefordshire had gotten back to their accommodation when Jenny noticed that Luna had begun vomiting and suffering from diarrhoea.
The 48-year-old was left terrified as Luna began to stumble, appearing dizzy and struggling to breathe as a result of sodium poisoning.
Jenny immediately rushed her beloved pet pooch to Tenby Vets who confirmed the diagnosis of sodium poisoning and advised Jenny that she was incredibly fortunate that Luna would survive.
After racking her brain, the dog owner realised that Luna contracted the viral infection as a result of chewing a stick whilst having salt water from the sea in her mouth.
Unwilling to sleep, Jenny kept a vigil for her Labrador overnight making sure that she was still breathing and didn’t require additional attention from vets.
Despite the massive odds, Luna made a full recovery from the traumatic events and now Jenny has taken to social media to warn other owners to keep an eye on their precious pooches.
Jenny posted an impassioned plea earlier this month, writing: “Warning to all. My dog loving friends. My dog massively loves water, so at the beach this weekend [she] was loving swimming in and out of the sea, retrieving a stick.
“An hour later, she began to be violently sick and for the rest of that night she was extremely poorly – laboured breathing, confused, fatigued, diarrhoea the next day and has only just started being herself today (three days later).
“When she was at her worst I was in close contact with the vet who told me that dogs can become very, very poorly with sodium poisoning.
“This doesn’t normally happen from a general swim in the sea but happens from dogs retrieving balls, sticks etc, as when they swim back they have their mouths open and are swallowing the salty sea water.
“This was a horrible lesson I’ve learned and I just want to pass the warning on. Sodium poisoning can be life-threatening to a dog.
“My pooch is now safe but others may not be so lucky.”
The post received hundreds of likes and dozens of comments as many were quick to share their thoughts on the post.
One person wrote: “That’s so scary. Also here in Northern Ireland, there’s a big problem with blue-green algae in some coastal areas and waterways which can be very toxic.
“There’s been a lot of warnings about it lately.”
Another said: “Thank you for sharing. We are taking our ball/stick/swimming-obsessed lab to the seaside in a few weeks for the first time, so I’m really pleased I’ve read this.”
A third commented: “We learnt the hard way too. Now, we are careful not to throw balls into the sea for retrieving. The dogs scoop up too much sea water when they go after them.”
A fourth added: “[You] have to be extremely careful with water entering the lungs when going for an object in water. It would be wise to learn dog CPR.”
Speaking to Jenny today, she said: “I took my two year-old Labrador Luna to the beach and spent 45 minutes chucking a stick for her to retrieve.
“After finishing [playing] in the sea, I gave her a fresh drink of water. Half an hour later, she was sick, followed by being violently sick a little while after too.
“She was listless, confused, shaking, had laboured breathing. I cried in fear when I realised how shallow her breathing was.
“I thought she was going to die.
“I was in close contact with two vets – both of which told me that she had sodium poisoning from the sea water.
“The vets knew immediately what was wrong as soon as they knew her symptoms and how poorly she was.
“Dogs can lose their life from this and I had no idea it even existed.
“I am advised that it’s not really the general sea swim that cause this but the retrieving of a stick or ball or similar as the dog can swallow lots of water as it’s swimming back with the thing in its mouth.
“[She had] no surgery or medication but was monitored all night. Some dogs end up on drips after these things happen.
“She was kept with me, under phone supervision through the night via the vet. I was told that if she became totally unresponsive, I had to rush her in but I was able to slightly rouse her through the night.
“I don’t understand why sodium poisoning in dogs isn’t more talked about as so many people have said they had no idea this could happen.
“Luna was not herself for several days after the event. People need to be made aware of this potentially life-threatening problem for dogs.
“I had her as a birthday present from my son and she’s the best present I’ve ever had. I adore her. She’s the most comforting dog when I have bouts of depression – she’s my world.”
Jenny has now issued a warning to other dog owners: “Never, ever throw anything in the sea for a dog to retrieve.
“Always take fresh water to the beach for a dog to drink.”
Jenny also advised that owners brush up on their knowledge of dog CPR, advising that videos can be found online.