Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning


January 2018

Many owners may have heard about the resent spate of poisonings in dogs after eating shellfish washed up on our beaches. Sadly, two dogs died, a husky after eating a crab at Felixstowe, & a golden retriever after eating fish at Cley.

The Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (EIFCA) said it was “highly likely” both dogs died from paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The organism that causes PSP is a naturally occurring marine bio-toxin. Tests carried out on the partially digested fish found high to very high levels of PSP toxins. The cause of the increased levels is not known & is being investigated.

There have been reports from veterinary practices within the area of dogs developing mild gastrointestinal signs after walking on the beach, all have made full recoveries after symptomatic treatment. Until the cause of this spike in PSP levels is discovered it would be wise to exercise caution when walking dogs on the beach & keep them on a lead if they are likely to scavenge.

If your dog becomes unwell following a beach walk contact your local vet as soon as possible. For more information on PSP visit the EIFCA website.