Dog owners love bringing their dogs to Davis Island Dog Beach in Tampa, Florida. There’s a sandy beach for dogs to splash, swim and play in. But recently, a dog owner got a terrible scare when her large Labrador Retriever mix appeared to be drowning.
The dog named Xena was pulled out of the water by residents at the beach and they noticed the dog was having difficulty breathing and was unconscious from drinking too much saltwater. Residents and firefighters began CPR and mouth-to-snout resuscitation on the dog and luckily she was revived! Her owners rushed her to the vets where she was examined and said to be in perfect health!
The video serves as a great reminder to be mindful that dogs can play in the water too much and it can lead to dangerous conditions like “beach diarrhea” or water intoxication. Beach diarrhea occurs when a dog drinks too much saltwater. Just as with people, too much saltwater can cause severe dehydration that can affect the intestinal tissues. This can lead to a dog vomiting, having explosive diarrhea and the complications that come with severe dehydration.
A dog that drinks too much water (whether it is fresh or salt water) can also get water intoxication. A dog can take in too much water inadvertently while chasing for a water toy or swimming for example) The excess fluid causes electrolyte levels to drop, thinning blood plasma and leading to swelling of the brain and other organs. Symptoms include: lethargy, nausea, bloating, vomiting, dilated pupils, glazed eyes, light gum color, and excessive salivation. If it progresses, a dog will have difficulty breathing, will collapse, lose consciousness and possibly have seizures.
Vets recommend that if you are enjoying a day by the water with your dog, make sure to give your dog lots of breaks from the water activities. Let them dry out, get some fresh drinking water (if they haven’t drunk some already) and force them to rest before they get back to playing.
Luckily, Xena did not suffer from either of these conditions. After, this video was shown on news stations, Xena’s owners reached out to reassure everyone Xena was okay and had gotten a clean bill of health from the vet immediately afterwards. “Our Xena is a sweet and lovable girl who loves belly rubs and swimming, and we are so grateful to live in a community where people are willing to help,” they wrote in an email to Fox 13. “Thank you all for everything you did for Xena. I saw the light of God through each and everyone of you.”
I also have to applaud the wonderful people who helped save Xena’s life!
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