A dog owner has warned others to beware after her beloved pet ate a white substance found on Brighton beach and fell ill.
Jess Squires found a solid nugget of what the Environment Agency identified as palm oil with her dog Luna, a Labrador cross.
Luna ate some of the substance and had to be taken to the vet.
The Labrador had to be given injections so she could expel the substance.
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Jess Squires said: “Luna is fine now, but I want people to be aware that this stuff is around locally and know what it looks like so they can get their dog straight to vets if they eat any.”
Palm oil is a vegetable oil derived from the pulp of the fruit of African, American and Maripa palms – it is non-toxic to humans but can be fatal to dogs.
Marc Abraham, TV Vet, said: “Dogs will pick up anything on the beach, from pebbles, to food to palm oil. These things can cause two-fold problems, the first is gastro, the second is foreign body obstructions.
“As the palm oil is so gelatinous it can get lodged in the oesophagus and require emergency surgery.”
Palm oil has been found all along the south coast and it is suspected that it came from a load that was either dumped or washed off a cargo ship.
Last year there were numerous incidents of palm oil washing up on Cornish beaches, resulting in the death of Zanzi, a miniature schnauzer dog, and the Cornwall Council putting up signs warning of pollution.
Mr Abraham said: “If you are concerned, keep your dog on a lead and if necessary have them wearing a muzzle while on the beach.
“If you think your dog has swallowed something it shouldn’t, contact your vet immediately.”
An Environment Agency spokesman said they believe the substance was washed up during the recent stormy weather.