One dog dead, 10 receiving treatment after coming into contact with toxic puffer fish in Cape Town

14 April 2021 - 06:54
Scores of the small but deadly evil-eye puffer fish, pictured here by Geoff Spiby courtesy of the Two Oceans Aquarium, washed ashore in Muizenberg and Fish Hoek in Cape Town recently.
Scores of the small but deadly evil-eye puffer fish, pictured here by Geoff Spiby courtesy of the Two Oceans Aquarium, washed ashore in Muizenberg and Fish Hoek in Cape Town recently.
Image: Geoff Spiby/Two Oceans Aquarium

Nearly 10 dogs have received medical attention at the Glencairn Veterinary Hospital in Fish Hoek, Cape Town, and one has died after coming into contact with toxic puffer fish on beaches in the area, the vet told TimesLIVE on Tuesday.

On Monday, the vet urged dog owners to either avoid the beach or keep the dogs on leashes when visiting beaches to ensure they don't come into contact with the deadly fish.

It said signs of toxicity include vomiting, which is most common, seizures and death.

Puffer fish contain a potent toxin which can cause severe toxicosis for dogs that lick or eat these washed-up fish,” said the hospital.

“We recommend keeping your dogs leashed while on the beach at the moment or even better, avoiding the beach altogether until the beaches are clear of these dead fish again.”

Hello Everyone. As you may be aware for the last few weeks there have been many dead puffer fish washed up on the...

Posted by Fish Hoek Vet on Monday, April 12, 2021

The City of Cape Town started cleanup operations three weeks ago after thousands of evil-eye puffer fish mysteriously washed ashore along the False Bay coastline.

TimesLIVE reported the mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, warned the puffer fish carried the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin and should not be consumed by dogs or humans.

City officials said the cause of mass puffer fish deaths was unknown as there were no adverse water conditions, red tide or pollution leading up to the deaths.


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