A COUNTY vet practice is warning dog owners to be extra vigilant after a dog needed emergency treatment following a jellyfish sting.

Maya, a three-year-old Alaskan malamute, was left in excruciating pain after being stung in the mouth when she picked up a jellyfish while playing in the sea off Yellowcraig beach, by Dirleton.

Cosmo Arnott, the dog’s owner, heard Maya yelp in agony and watched in shock as she suffered an immediate reaction and started salivating and frantically rubbing her face on rocks, leaving her with a badly cut chin.

Cosmo, from Ormiston, rushed her to Dunedin Vets in Tranent and she was immediately given two bowls of milk, which helps to soothe the reaction, as well as an antihistamine, pain killers and anti-inflammatories.

Dunedin vets' clinical director Margot Hunter, who treated Maya, said the practice has treated several dogs that have been stung by jellyfish after walking on beaches in East Lothian.

Margot said: “Maya was one of the worst cases we’ve seen this year as she was in so much oral pain.

“She was pawing at her mouth, rubbing her face on the floor and salivating profusely when she first arrived at the practice.”

Dunedin Vets has now issued a warning that jellyfish can cause dogs a nasty injury and the sting can trigger a potentially fatal anaphylactic shock.

Symptoms can include blistering, burning pain, changes in heart rhythm, difficulty breathing, itching, nausea, fever, excessive drooling, vomiting, swellings and hives.

Margot said: “Local beaches have been covered in jellyfish during the hot weather and will be for some time to come. Even dead jellyfish can still sting.

“I don’t think people should avoid taking their dogs to the beach, but it is important that they watch what they’re doing and not allow them to swim in the water if there are a lot of jellyfish about.

“The danger is when they bite them or pick them up. If a dog is stung, then it is important to seek veterinary advice and treatment.

“Milk or ice cream will help initially, but you should always seek veterinary advice.

“If a dog goes into anaphylactic shock, it could be life-threatening. This tends to happen quickly, and they go floppy, lose control of their bodily functions and can die.”