Here in North Devon we’ve had a bit of a battering by the storm and this has also spelt bad news for dogs as the windy weather has reportedly been blowing toxic blobs of palm oil onto beaches. Palm oil is a waxy white substance which has a distinctive diesel-like smell. The smell is attractive to dogs who will frequently consume it.
Palm oil is a natural product used mainly in food processing and it can legally be released into the sea by ships. However, it can be contaminated with fuel waste and other toxins and in solid form can be extremely harmful to dogs. It then gets washed across the oceans often exacerbated in storms all the while being contaminated by ocean waste.
Palm oil is unfortunately very toxic to dogs. If your dog does eat some we would recommend you contact us immediately so we can start appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhoea leading to severe dehydration. In dogs that have consumed larger amounts a range of symptoms have been seen including, kidney damage, liver failure and blockages within the gut. Occasionally this has resulted in fatalities or the dog needing to be put to sleep.
We would strongly advise that you avoid walking your dog on any beach where it is has been reported to have washed up. If you are worried that your dog may have ingested palm oil please contact us immediately.
There have already been reports of the waxy white lumps turning up in the last few days on storm-lashed beaches in Devon. If you see palm oil on any of our local beaches please let us know so we can warn others.