Recently one of our Midwest Vet Centre team members bought to our attention that the extremely dangerous slug-like ‘Sea Hares; also known as Aplysia have been sighted at one of Geraldton’s local family beaches – Back Beach on the weekend.
The hares have been causing havoc to Western Australian canines for several years, however unfortunately no research has been conclusive in determining the causative toxins and consequently there are no antidotes. Treatment consists of seizure management and supportive therapy which can be cost prohibitive and not guaranteed.
Gathering in late summer, they are commonly found between January-April washed up on Geraldton beaches. We have seen many cases of death in the previous years from the large slug like hares that have washed up on the shoreline, and so we ask that all dog owners please take extra pre-caution when visiting the beach with your companion. Ensure your pets are on a lead at all times and not sniffing around in the seaweed.
These creatures carry toxins harmful enough to kill a large dog and when threatened, may excrete a toxic purple ink that can irritate eyes. If you see another dog licking, sniffing or ingesting a sea hare, we ask that you please inform other pet owners straight away!!
Symptoms to look out for include tremors, seizures, vomiting and or drooling.
If you believe your pet has ingested one of these life-threatening creatures or is showing any of the following symptoms, please call your veterinarian ASAP as time is of the essence!!!