VETS have warned dog owners in East Lothian to be an the alert for jellyfish after two pets needed treatment for stings in a week.

Dunedin Veterinary Centre said it had treated two dogs who had been stung while walking on beaches at their Dunbar and North Berwick surgeries on nearby beaches.

Patients needing treatment included Cooky, a seven-year-old greyhound, who came across a stranded jellyfish while out walking with his owner at John Muir Country Park.

Cooky had picked up the jellyfish before owner Val Tear could stop him and by the time she managed to get it from his mouth he had already been stung.

Val said Cooky immediately began salivating and frantically scratching his face, which was quickly covered in red blotches.

Luckily for Cooky, Val works at the vet practice's Dunbar surgery as a branch supervisor and knew how to react quickly.

She immediately washed his mouth out with a bottle of water she was carrying and took him home where he was given milk to drink - an antidote to the sting.

He was later checked over at the vet practice to make sure there was no lasting damage.

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

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

Dr Fiona Campbell, from the practice, said dogs stung by a jellyfish should be seen by a vet as quickly as possible.

She said: "Washing dogs in salt water or mild vinegar solution helps to deactivate the sting, but you should take your pet to the vet as soon as possible if they show a reaction.

"Jellyfish stings can potentially be serious if dogs suffer an anaphylactic reaction, and the worst case scenario can be fatal. Most cases we see aren’t as severe as this, but they are still unpleasant for the dog.”

Cooky made a full recovery – and has learned his lesson about picking up jellyfish.

Val said: “It is important that owners are aware how dangerous jellyfish stings can be. There are loads of jellyfish lying around and they can even be found on the grass, half a mile from the shoreline.

"Because I work at a veterinary practice, I know the effect of a jellyfish sting so I was in a panic when it happened. Like bee stings in humans, some dogs react worse than others, and we have had cases where collapsed dogs that have gone into anaphylactic shock have been brought in after being stung by a jellyfish."