JELLYFISH PLAGUE: Thousands of jellyfish cover the beach at Deception Bay, south of the Sunshine Coast, on January 30.
JELLYFISH PLAGUE: Thousands of jellyfish cover the beach at Deception Bay, south of the Sunshine Coast, on January 30. Charlotte Lawson Facebook

Thousands of jellyfish plague beaches as 23,000 stung

THE invasion of bluebottles and jellyfish on Sunshine Coast beaches continues with 22,841 bluebottle stings recorded by lifesavers since December 1.

Strong northerlies blowing through the summer have contributed to the problem with a Surf Lifesaving Queensland spokeswoman advising Noosa and Mooloolaba recording the most stings with approximately 3000 each.

It's not only Sunshine Coast beaches that been affected.

Charlotte Lawson took an amazing photo of thousands of blobs of jelly lining Deception Bay, on Brisbane's north-side, on Sunday.

With north-easterly winds expected to continue until Saturday and swing easterly from Sunday its unlikely the stingers will stop blowing in any time soon.

The bluebottles and stingers have also creating havoc for dog owners.

Coolum Beach vet, Dr Dan Capps of Beachside Veterinary Surgery, had to treat three dogs on Saturday afternoon, January 28, which had swallowed stingers, believed to be bluebottles, on the beach.

 

Beachside Vet at Coolum's Dr Daniel Capps with his dog, Kevin.
Beachside Vet at Coolum's Dr Daniel Capps with his dog, Kevin.

Dr Capps said the three dogs presented with the same serious symptoms, vomiting and oesophageal (food pipe) pain.

"All of the owners said they had eating something at the beach before it happened," Dr Capps.

The three youngish dogs, a Labrador, Labradoodle and a Maltese-cross, were in a "lot of pain" when they were brought in on separate occasions on Saturday.

Like humans, bluebottles are normally only painful for pets unless the animal has an allergic reaction.

"They need supportive care," Dr Capps said.

"A few injections of pain relief and something to reduce swelling and also something to stop the vomiting and nausea.

"We also give the dog an oral liquid medication to coat and protect the oesophagus."

His best advice for dog owners was to make sure their pooch stayed away from stingers.

"Avoid bluebottles, they may look tasty to a dog, but they are not," he said.

"They were all young dogs (that were brought in) that were bouncy, happy and inquisitive and would put anything in their mouth.

"They only do it once. The tentacles would sting all the way down the oesophagus."

He suggested if a dog owner suspected their dog may have swallowed a bluebottle to quickly give it lots of water.

"First care is to was the mouth out with as much moisture as possible and also wipe it out," he said.

"Then take it to a vet to give it something to ease the pain and discomfort.

"Mostly they will recover."


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