Palm oil washing up on beaches could make dogs ill, warns Newhaven Port Authority

Dog owners are being warned to be careful as palm oil washing up on East Sussex beaches could make their pets ill.

Newhaven Port Authority said a ship lost a large amount of the oil into the sea off the coast of Cornwall in October.

It has since mixed with sea water, forming a thick white substance and has turned rancid.

A spokesperson for Newhaven Port Authority said: “Watch out for white lumps that look a bit candle wax.

“It is likely to be congealed and rancid palm oil.

“It smells rotten but dogs seem to like it and will often eat it if given the chance. It may make them very ill.

“The main thing owners can do is prevent exposure.

“So please keep your eyes out for this stuff and keep your dogs away from it.”

The port authority said advice from the Veterinary Poisons Information Service was that the main problems caused for dogs, were vomiting and diarrhoea.

These could lead to dehydration, particularly in young or small dogs.

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

It suggested anyone with a dog that had eaten palm oil should contact their vet for advice, particularly if the dog was already unwell.

The Veterinary Poisons Information Service said there was no specific treatment but the dog might need medication to control vomiting and intravenous fluid to treat or prevent dehydration.