I was walking my two Ridgeback males along a beach who were only 18 weeks old at the time and both were on leads as they hadn’t quite grasped the leave command. I would only have been on there about 20 minutes and came back onto a grassy verge. Almost immediately Odin started tearing at the grass – not eating it actually ripping it out and gulping it then violently vomiting. I got down beside him and checked for an obstruction, nothing there but what I did notice was the sound of his breathing. Because I suffer from allergies I know the stages of anaphylaxis and I also knew if I administered a human epi pen I could kill him because of his size. I was in a strange town but due to the fact of being alone with two pups I had looked up vets before hand. I phoned the vet for directions, threw Odin over my shoulder, tied Zack’s lead onto my belt and done a sprint Mo Farrah would have been proud of. The vet injected a series of god knows what drugs and almost immediately Odin’s lungs began to expand. I had kept both pups on leads and watched everything they went near like a hawk so what the hell went wrong? As a seaside vet he told me he either licked a stone that a jelly fish had been across or he licked a tentacle hanging out from under something probably so small or clear in colour you wouldn’t see it. The next 24 hours were also crucial as a second attack can occur within that time frame. I’m glad to say after a sleepless 24 hours on my part Odin was a hungry pup and I took him back to the vet for a once over before driving home. The vet did say he wasn’t sure he would make it through the night because it was such a bad reaction. I always carry antihistamines and epi-pens for my own use and I wouldn’t hesitate using them on my own adult dogs but I would ask anyone who is new to allergies to take five minutes to work out your dogs weight to piriton and carry a packet with you. You can buy Tesco/ASDA/BOOTS Chlorphenamine for pennies – its the active ingredient used in piriton and is just as effective – remember to check the sell by date and renew them. We didn’t return to a beach for 3 years after that episode and I will only walk on beaches that I have researched to find out if jelly fish are common in the area.
Kerry Rhodes says:
Ann-Louise that must have been absolutely terrifying. What a brilliant job you did and thank goodness that Odin pulled through! You’re quite right that Piriton is a godsend with allergies (it must be Piriton and not Piriteze or any other version of it). For anybody reading this, please remember to check with your vet that Piriton will be suitable for your dog (and what dosage) so you can carry it with you safe in the knowledge that it wont cause him any problems – NOT ALL DOGS can take Piriton safetly so always check before popping it in your first aid kit.
Thanks for sharing your story with us.