Dog walkers warned of toxic oil on beach

Palm oil found on Tide Mills beach near Seaford SUS-140219-094528001
Palm oil found on Tide Mills beach near Seaford SUS-140219-094528001

A substance which is dangerous to dogs has washed up on Seaford beach – sparking a warning to dog walkers.

Balls of palm oil, which is known to be toxic to dogs, has been spotted on the beach from Tide Mills to Splash Point.

Lewes District Council warned dog owners to be vigilant and keep their pets away from the substance.

A council spokesman said, “Lewes District Council is aware that palm oil, which has solidified, has washed up between the Newhaven eastern arm and Splash Point, Seaford.

“We are cleaning the area over the next couple of days and suggest that in the meantime all dog walkers ensure their dogs are on a lead.

“We are notifying the Maritime Coastguard Agency of the situation.”

Newhaven Coastguards also issued a warning to dog owners on its Facebook page, and said warning signs had been put in place on the beach.

“This substance is poisonous to dogs so please be extra vigilant,” said a coastguard spokesman.

The Veterinary Poisons Information Service issued a warning last year when the substance washed up on beaches on the South Coast, including at Seaford.

“This is a risk in dogs that eat a large amount of any fatty or oily food substance,” said a VPIS statement.

“The main problems are vomiting and diarrhoea and these can lead to dehydration, particularly in young or small dogs.

“There is also a potential risk of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreatitis) which can result in vague, non-specific signs including vomiting and diarrhoea.

“There have been reports of blockages of the gut in dogs that have eaten palm oil washed up in Cornwall.

“We would suggest anyone with a dog that has eaten palm oil contact their vet for advice, particularly if the dog is already unwell.

“There is no specific treatment but the dog may need medication to control vomiting and intravenous fluid to treat or prevent dehydration.

“The main thing owners can do it prevent exposure. So please keep your eyes out for this stuff and keep your dogs away from it.”