Man O' War jelly fish spotted on Sidmouth beach

PUBLISHED: 16:53 02 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:42 03 October 2017

Some of the Portuguese Man of War jelly fish.

Some of the Portuguese Man of War jelly fish.

Archant

Portuguese Man O' War jelly fish have been spotted along Sidmouth beach, prompting warnings from vets.

Some of the Portuguese Man of War jelly fish.Some of the Portuguese Man of War jelly fish.

Deadly Portuguese Man O’ War have been spotted along Sidmouth beach, prompting warnings from vets.

A number of the jellyfish type creatures were found washed up along Sidmouth’s shore on Sunday morning.

Man O’ War are not actually jellyfish but a colonial organism made up of specialised individual animals of the same species.

They are known for having venomous tentacles that can deliver a painful sting, which in some cases can be fatal.

With dogs being allowed back on the beach, as of October 1, owners have been reminded to stay vigilant.

Jurassic Vets posted a warning on Facebook reminding owners of some of the signs that pets may show if they come into contact with one.

This includes vomiting, excessive drooling, swelling, retching, licking affected area, difficulty breathing, quiet and lethargic, itching and pain.

Head vet Peter Martin said: “They are one of the nastier types of jellyfish about but it doesn’t have to be a Man O’ War to deliver a nasty sting.

“It is very rare for dogs to die but there are a lot to reports of dogs being left with swollen faces, vomiting, salivating and with painful faces or mouths.

“If your dog is stung, wrap a towel around your hand to pull the tentacles off and try splashing salt water on the affected area before giving us a call and we will see what we can do.”

James Wright, Curator at the National Marine Aquarium, added: “The Portuguese Man’O’War jellyfish (Physalia physalis) is usually found in warmer Mediterranean waters but, due to tidal behaviour, has been spotted on our local coats.

“This species of jellyfish has a very strong sting, which is particularly hazardous for anyone who is susceptible to more severe reactions to stings from other species, such as bees.

“Our advice for anyone visiting local beaches is to be cautious if you are considering swimming in the sea at this time of year and under no circumstances touch any jellyfish washed up on shore.

“Even if the jellyfish appears to be dead it can still eject a powerful sting, due to an involuntarily reaction caused when proteins, such as on your fingers, touch the jellyfish membrane. If anyone has been stung they should seek immediate medical attention.”

If you think your pet may have been stung call Jurassic Vets on 01395 493333.

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