Submitted by Steve on 17:50, 13th Jan, 2016 | 0

The Environment Department is advising dog owners to keep pets away from any white substance they may find on local beaches.

Small lumps of a white waxy substance have been found today at Grandes Rocques Bay by a member of the public. Lumps of a similar substance found in south Devon and Cornwall in December 2014 were identified as degraded edible oil or fat. If the substance is degraded oil, whilst not harmful to human health, it could pose a danger to dogs if it has gone rancid.

The Department would urge dog owners to keep their pets away from any waxy substances washed up on beaches. The Department would also like to remind dog owners of the risk of allowing their pets to eat seaweed, which has the potential to cause intestinal obstruction.

The Environment Department has instructed States Works to remove any substance of this description which may be found on beaches.

The public are advised not to touch the white waxy substance.

Last Winter and Spring the GSPCA sent out a warning regarding reports of possible palm oil being spotted along the coast of Guernsey.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said "Having been informed of reports of the white oily substance being seen along the Guernsey coast on Grandes Rocques and from the Environment Department the GSPCA would like to join the Department in warning all dog owners along the coast of the potential dangers to their pets."

"We don't know if it is palm oil which has been seen in the past along our coast, but it is a white oily looking substance."

"These types of oily looking substances can be very attractive to a dog but if ingested they can possibly kill a dog due to what is in them so please keep a very close eye on your pets when along the coast."

"The main problems are vomiting and diarrhoea and these can lead to dehydration, particularly in young or small dogs."

"There is also a potential risk of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreatitis) which can result in vague, non-specific signs including vomiting and diarrhoea."

"This is a risk in dogs that eat a large amount of any fatty or oily food substance."

"At the GSPCA we would suggest anyone with a dog that has eaten palm oil contact their vet immediately for advice, particularly if the dog is already unwell."

"There is no specific treatment but the dog may need medication to control vomiting and intravenous fluid to treat or prevent dehydration."

The Environment Department and States Works will monitor beaches but anyone finding white deposits is asked to report it to the Environmental Services Unit, Tel:717200 during office hours or env@gov.gg.

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