TAMPA BAY, Fla. (WFLA) - A Florida man is heartbroken after his dog died of saltwater poisoning after a day at a dog beach.
Chris Taylor and his Labrador retriever "O.G." were rarely separated since he picked the dog out seven years ago when the pup was just three months old.
"He's my family...he's just so goofy and just always excited to see me when I came through the door," Taylor told WFLA-TV.
More than anything else, O.G. loved the water.
Monday, they played for hours at Honeymoon Island Dog Beach, splashing in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But that night, the dog began to have stomach issues, was lethargic all day Tuesday and by Wednesday, he wasn't eating and was unresponsive.
By the time Taylor rushed him to the vet, it was too late.
"I saw him last night and he was convulsing, and I asked if he was in any pain, she said I just don't think he's even aware of where he is," Taylor said.
Experts told WFLA when dogs ingest large amounts of saltwater, it can cause severe brain damage, dehydration and seizures.
"When the brain gets affected, the whole body gets affected," said veterinarian Dr. Katy Meyer.
Meyer said it's not always easy to see how serious things are with a sick dog until it's too late.
If you're taking your dog to a saltwater beach, Meyer said you should limit the trip to two hours and take breaks every half-hour with plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink.