Saltwater poisoning in dogs

Published: Jul. 14, 2018 at 3:17 PM CDT
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After a south Florida man's Labrador Retriever died just days after a trip to the beach, veterinarians across the nation are speaking out about sodium toxicity, or saltwater poisoning.

"We see it here a lot due to the ocean," Dr. Gerrie Barr with Vets Pets in Panama City Beach said. "Tourists and people come to the beach and they bring their dogs and they'll go to the ocean and think it's just a big bowl of freshwater."

One of the first signs of saltwater poisoning is vomiting.

"If they don't have freshwater, the symptoms can get quite worse," Dr. Barr said. "They can have anything from seizures to muscle cramps, to disorientation. It can be a big problem."

Dr. Barr said it's a problem that doesn't discriminate among size, breed, or even animal.

"It can happen in pigs. It can happen in cattle. It can happen in all the animals," Dr. Barr said. A few animals are more sensitive than others. It's thought to be the swine population is the most sensitive."

The best advice veterinarians can give is to take breaks and always provide your pets with plenty of freshwater.

Dr. Barr said it's important to give your dog freshwater regularly. Drinking too much freshwater too quickly can also make your dog sick.