A Florida man has warned dog owners to remain cautious when they take their pets to the beach after losing his beloved lab to a freak health hazard, reports NBC4.
Chris Taylor, 29, and his dog OG, who had stayed together pretty much the entire time since the latter’s birth some seven years ago, loved going to the beach. While OG enjoyed being near the water and never had a problem soaking up the sun at the beach for hours, something happened this past Monday which would forever alter Taylor’s life.
After they came back from the Honeymoon Island dog beach, Taylor noticed his dog feeling a “bit wobbly.” But while Chris saw that OG was not keeping in his best spirits, there was not much to indicate that he was suffering from something serious. He tried to feed OG properly and thought that he would get better with a day of rest but that wasn’t to be.
On Wednesday, the dog stopped eating. He wouldn’t respond to Taylor’s commands and appeared to be in some sort of a daze. Concerned about OG’s health, the owner rushed him to the vet hospital, where veterinarians informed him that the dog had suffered brain damage. That night, despite the vets’ best efforts, OG had a seizure and was severely dehydrated.
“I saw him last night, and he was convulsing, and I asked if he was in pain, she said I don’t even think he knows where he is,” Taylor said of OG’s condition on Wednesday night.
What the vets would tell him next would break Taylor’s heart.
“They told me, there’s nothing we can do right now. I thought, this is my son. I don’t have children of my own,” he said.
According to veterinarians, OG suffered from saltwater poisoning, a condition which is caused by ingesting large amounts of saltwater. While humans can ingest small amounts of salt, for dogs the threshold is much lower. If pets drink too much saltwater, the extraordinary sodium amounts could seriously damage their brains, which would lead them to suffer from the same symptoms as OG.
A few hours after having the seizure, OG died. Still in disbelief, Taylor could never imagine that a trip to the place that they both loved so much would eventually become the cause for the dog’s death.
“It still feels surreal,” Taylor told Fox 13. “It doesn’t feel like reality. I [have] to get a grip on that and realize that it is real and he’s gone.”
Dr. Katy Meyer from Tampa Bay Emergency Veterinary Services said that she has seen cases like this a number of times, and warned dog owners to limit their trips to the beach to a maximum of two hours, while also constantly providing their pets with freshwater so that they don’t have to depend on saltwater to quench their thirst.