Photo Credit: Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

The Great Dane Rescuers of Western Cape shared an insightful public announcement after several pufferfish were spotted washed up on False Bay Beach.


False Bay, South Africa (29 March 2021) – The Great Dane Rescuer shared some valuable information last week after there was a pufferfish wash-up on False Bay Beach. The beach was dotted with pufferfish, which are toxic to dogs, whether alive or dead.

While the mass wash-up took place last week, there is still a chance you could stumble on a pufferfish while walking on the beach.

The Great Dane Rescuer shared information about the toxins found in the pufferfish and what symptoms to watch for should your dog accidentally gets near a washed-up pufferfish.

“Please be advised that there is a massive pufferfish (Evileye blassop) wash-up on beaches along the False Bay coastline currently.

Pufferfish contain a toxin called tetrodotoxin; stored in the fish’s skin and internal organs, it is one of the most deadly natural poisons.

Dead or alive – pufferfish poison can be fatal to both humans and dogs alike if ingested in quantity. Extremely fast-acting, death by pufferfish toxin can occur anywhere from as little as 20 minutes to between 4 and 6 hours post-ingestion so make sure that your dogs do not try to lick, chew on or eat the dead / dying fish and that kids don’t touch or play with the fish.”

IF your dog has eaten a pufferfish, symptoms to look out for include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Mental dullness/seeming “depressed.”
  • Trembling/excessive drooling
  • Wobbly walking pattern
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blue-tinged gums
  • Dilated pupils and the animal stops blinking
  • Paralysis
  • Eventual coma

The Great Dane Rescuer go on to say that should your dog ingest any form of pufferfish, you need to get them to vomit it up as soon as possible. While doing this, rush to your nearest emergency vet.

“If your dog has ingested pufferfish, having the dog vomit up the fish is key to alleviating further toxicity so get them to a vet ASAP.

If you cannot get to an emergency vet, a soap bolus is your next step to induce vomiting. Activated charcoal powder can be given to help absorb the toxin thereafter. If you notice that your dog has vomited up a fish, bag the evidence and take it with you to the vet for a positive ID. Please watch your dogs on their beach walks for the next few days.”

This information can save your pet’s life, so keep it close at hand should you be in an area where pufferfish have washed-up.

Sources: Great Dane Rescuer
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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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