Stinging jellyfish to dogs? What would he do if I suspect a bite?

Spain has more of 8.000 kilometres of coastline, making it a perfect holiday destination. Luckily every time there are more beaches for dogs and they enabled, just like us, they are an easy target in these species. The stings of jellyfish in dogs should detect in time.

The Mediterranean coast is invaded, every three or four years, by plagues of jellyfish. The causes for this proliferation are mainly due to the intervention of the human being, These causes can include overfishing of species that eat jellyfish, the increase in sea temperature and the increase of the urbanization of the coast.

In the sea there are between 350 and 500 different species of these animals. Which are most frequently observed in our beaches are Chysaora hysoscella, Pelagia noctiluca, Rhizostoma pulmo and Cothilorhiza tuberculata.

Medusa dog


  • Jellyfish belong to the Group of cnidarians. (Word that comes from the Greek knidé, that means nettle). In this group we find polyps and jellyfish life free and with tentacles down. Its danger lies in the existence of stinging cells, so-called nidoblastos or Nematocysts.
  • These Nematocysts are cells filled with poison that possess a DART or sting to inoculate it, named nematocisto, and a "trigger trigger" called nidocilio which to come into contact with the skin of the victim, free poison and cause damage.

Toxicity is influenced by various factors:

  • Health and age of the patient.
  • Weight of the animal.
  • Surface exposed to the bite and amount of toxin injected.
  • Skin thickness in exposed areas and site of the sting.
  • Species of jellyfish.



Dogs are an easy target for the jellyfish by its curious and playful character. Bites in them are as painful as in humans.

In principle, they are mprotected by their fur and their pads as Plantar and palmar, they are hard, waterproof and quite resistant. They are however more sensitive locations:

  1. Truffle
  2. Oral cavity
  3. Inside of the ears
  4. Abdomen
  5. Inguinal region (where is the hair less abundant).

The symptoms that occur after a bite PAIN, ERYTHEMA, EDEMA AND PRURITUS. Papules may appear. The symptoms usually send in a few days, unless there are secondary complications such as infections for example.

In more severe cases may appear systemic complications such as agitation, fatigue, "crying" and even breathing difficulties (dyspnea).

Dog Beach


WHAT TO DO BEFORE A STING? METHODS of performance if the dog bites?


  1. Avoid as far as possible scratching, as well as the lamido of the areas where the bite occurred
  1. Apply ice for 15 minutes avoiding direct contact on the skin of the animal (It should be wrapped with a towel). This is to cause the effect of local anesthesia by cold and, in this way, reduce pain.
  1. Examine the skin and hair in search of remnants of the medusa or its tentacles. Remove them wearing gloves and rinse with salt water.
  1. Do not rub the skin of the animal.
  1. Can be washed with acetic acid to the 5-10% (vinegar) during 10-15 minutes.
  1. Dry the skin and apply analgesic ointments (lidocaine or benzocaine), with corticosteroids or antihistamines to relieve the allergic reaction.
  1. Move the animal to the nearest veterinary way urgent.


Raquel Miraz

Veterinary internal medicine Veterinary Hospital San Vicente








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