Portuguese Man of war advice

Autumn has arrived, bringing the usual blustery weather with it. If you walk your dog along the beaches of Pembrokeshire you are probably used to encountering the odd jellyfish on the shoreline. However, with the recent bad weather we have had several unusual jellyfish washed up.

Portuguese Man Of War jellyfish are usually found in the Atlantic ocean, but we have had some arrive in Pembrokeshire in the past month. These jellyfish have incredibly long venomous tentacles, which can reach up to 165 feet in length. If touched, even when dead, they can deliver a painful sting to both humans and pets.

There are several signs that could suggest your dog has been stung-
1. Vomiting
2. Excessive drooling
3. Swelling
4. Retching
5. Licking affected area
6. Difficulty breathing
7. Quiet and lethargic
8. Itching
9. Pain

If your dog is stung by a jellyfish remove any remaining tentacles with a stick or towel Make sure you do not to touch the tentacles with your hands.
Don’t rub the injured area with sand. Clean it with sea water rather than fresh water, as this will help to neutralise the sting.
Any dog that has been in contact with a jellyfish should receive immediate veterinary attention – Please call us on 01437 760111 for advice.

If you get stung yourself the NHS suggests you treat the sting by carefully removing any remaining tentacles and thoroughly washing the affected area with seawater.
DO NOT apply vinegar or alcohol to the skin as it can make the pain worse.
In humans, pain from a Portuguese man-of-war sting usually lasts about 15-20 minutes. The NHS advises people should seek immediate medical assistance if you experience severe, lasting pain, or if the affected area becomes infected.

The Marine Conservation Society has some handy advice on what to do if you see one of these jellyfish:

Never touch a jellyfish with bare hands
Always use a stick or wear arm length rubber gloves if you need to turn them over for identification
Beware of the stinging tentacles and keep your face and any exposed skin well clear

Seek medical attention in the case of a severe sting

For advice on identifying jellyfish - please follow click here 

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