Florida Dog Dies After Saltwater Poisoning

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
An innocent trip to the beach ended up in the shocking death of a Labrador Retriever in Florida, leaving the dog’s owner on a mission to warn pet parents about the dangers of saltwater poisoning.

I love the beach. My dogs have all loved the beach. They will chase a ball/stick/whatever in the water all day long and twice on Sunday. If you have a dog and live near the beach, my guess is you may be able to relate.

But a Florida man wants to warn pet owners to pay attention to their dogs after those summer beach trip days, after his seven-year-old Labrador Retriever O.G. died of saltwater poisoning.

Related: What to Do if Your Dog is Poisoned

Chris Taylor took his sweet lab to the beach in the Tampa Bay area and had a perfectly normal and fun day playing and swimming in the water. Days later, Taylor had to put O.G. to sleep, as the veterinarian told him he had suffered from saltwater poisoning.

Taylor says that it feels completely unreal still, and that he can’t really believe that O.G. is really gone, especially from something like swimming in the ocean.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), drinking saltwater can be dangerous for dogs and humans. When humans drink saltwater, our body’s cells are taking in salt and water. We can ingest small amounts of salt safely, but the salt content in seawater is much higher than the average human consumption, and isn’t processed by the human body. Essentially, it leads to severe dehydration, and the same occurs in dogs.

Taylor said that shortly after they left the beach, O.G. was a bit wobbly when he walked and had some diarrhea as well. Taylor said he thought maybe something was going through his system from the beach and that rest would help. It appeared to, and then two days later O.G. stopped eating and Taylor rushed him to the veterinarians. There, the doctors discovered O.G.’s brain was swelling and they told Taylor he was going to die.

Related: Dogs Become Lifeguards For The UK’s Hornsea Beach

Veterinarians recommend that pet owners give plenty of fresh water to their dogs if they take them to the beach, and to watch closely for signs of saltwater poisoning. Dogs will often drink saltwater as if it is fresh water, and that can be dangerous. Taylor hopes that if others take their dogs to the beach, they’ll watch for the symptoms, which include vomiting and fatigue as well, and will work to protect their dog.

In the meantime, he is sharing his story to honor O.G.’s vibrant spirit and to prevent the deaths of other dogs.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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