"I wouldn't want anyone to go through what I've been through": Owner's heartbreak after dog consumes palm oil on Norfolk beach
PUBLISHED: 12:29 18 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:22 18 March 2018
Fears have again been raised about animal safety at a Norfolk beach after a dog was left in a critical condition from eating palm oil which had washed ashore.
A Jack Russell mix visiting Sea Palling and Cromer beaches last weekend contracted pancreatitis having consumed an amount of palm oil which had washed up during sea storms.
Luckily, the 14-year-old dog is slowly recovering, having spent four nights in the vets under close scrutiny,
Owner Tessa Bickerstaff said: “I took him to Sea Palling beach on March 9 and 11, and Cromer on March 10.
“I immediately noticed something was wrong after our walk at Sea Palling on the Sunday because he was sick and then was really ill. That night he was quiet but I thought it was just because we’d had a long walk.
“But the next day he wasn’t jumping on and off the bed, he wasn’t going up and down the stairs, he was falling over.”
The Poringland resident added: “I rushed him to the vet and they said it was due to him eating a large amount of fatty substances, which means it was palm oil. I initially thought it was starfish as there were thousands of them washed up on the beach.
“Because I live inland I don’t see much of the coastal news and don’t go on social media very much, and I think the council could do more and put up a few signs to warn people.”
The yoga instructor went on: “When someone’s drowned there are signs up to say don’t swim too far out, or be careful of the rip-tides, but it’s not the same for canines.
“I worry about more elderly people and their dogs, if they don’t go on social media they may not know either. It’s been very distressing for both me and Jake. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I have this week, it’s been very, very upsetting.”
Jake’s illness is the latest in a series of canine emergencies across Norfolk and parts of Suffolk.
It was confirmed in January that two dogs; a Siberian husky and a golden retriever, had died due to Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning.
Dr Andrew Turner, from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science said: “Simple precautions should be followed to ensure that pets and people do not eat anything they find on the beach.”
This may include keeping a closer eye on dogs on the beach, or muzzling those who may try to eat washed up fish.