Cockapoo puppy rushed to vets after eating palm oil near Thorpeness beach
- Credit: Anna Lipska
A dog owner has warned others to be careful when walking along the beach between Thorpeness and Aldeburgh after her nine-month-old cockapoo ate palm oil and was rushed to the vets.
The toxic substance has been washing up on the shores of east Suffolk and parts of northern Essex in recent days following the blustery weather brought by Storm Darcy.
Anna Lipska, a photographer who lives in Aldeburgh, had a scary experience while training her cockapoo puppy, named Cookie, along the beach towards Thorpeness on Friday.
Ms Lipska and her seven-year-old daughter Sofia were out on their daily walk training Cookie on her recall, as it is the only quiet space for them which is in walking distance of their home.
They walk this route most days during the lockdown, but Ms Lipska said she has "never seen anything like it".
"I thought it was a rock as it was massive," she said.
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"It must have been 80cm wide and 40cm high and it was full of wires inside.
"I could see Cookie scratching it but before we could stop her she had eaten a bit.
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"I could see lots of teeth marks on it so obviously other animals had also tried to eat it."
Ms Lipska rushed Cookie to Aldeburgh Vets, where they made her sick within 15 to 20 minutes.
The veterinary team, who Ms Lipska said took no chances, confirmed she had eaten palm oil after finding traces of it in her sick.
They gave her charcoal medicine to settle her stomach and she spent most of Friday sleeping it off, but now she is full of energy and back to her normal self.
"It was very scary," added Ms Lipska.
"The whole beach was covered in so much rubbish, I have never seen it so bad."
The coastguard team was alerted to the lump of palm oil, which is a white and waxy substance, and it has since been removed.
Coastguard and council teams in Felixstowe, Lowestoft, and Dovercourt have all issued warnings to dog walkers after large amounts of the substance has been found along its beaches over the last week.
On Saturday night, the Holbrook Coastguard Rescue Team issued a further warning to residents after the toxic substance was discovered on the shore.
It said: "Following reports from a local Harkstead resident, dog owners are warned to keep their pets away from local beaches after palm oil washed up on the shore.
"This comes after Felixstowe Coastguard Rescue Team recently reported finding the same substance on a beach at Felixstowe.
"Palm oil is toxic to dogs and if ingested can cause a fatal reaction."
Coastguard teams have advised anyone who believes they have seen palm oil on the beach to report it to them, where disposal will be arranged as quickly as possible.
To do this, call 999 and ask for the coastguard, who can arrange quick and safe disposal.
You are reminded to contact your vets immediately if your dog becomes unwell after visiting the beach.