A RESCUE dog from Salisbury nearly died after eating a pile of seaweed at the beach.

Labrador cross Lola was brought to the UK from a dog sanctuary in Dubrovnik, Croatia, by Rose MacDonald and her partner Shawn Smith from Longhedge.

But on her first seaside holiday, she ended up seriously ill after eating the washed-up seaweed, which can contain dangerous toxins and expands in the stomach, getting stuck in the intestine, on Millook Beach near Bude

Children and young people’s worker Rose, 29, said: “She managed to wolf down a load of seaweed when we weren’t looking – and the first we knew about it was in the middle of the night when she began vomiting really badly.

“She brought up a couple of elastic bands – then huge lumps of seaweed. She was very agitated and I could see she was extremely ill.”

Five-year-old Lola had to be put on an intravenous drip and prescribed anti-vomiting medicine by a local vet in Cornwall and her condition stabilised slightly.

Rose and insurance worker Shawn, 28, then arranged for Lola to be admitted to the Salisbury clinic of pet emergency service Vets Now.

Rose said: “I drove back from Cornwall with my mum. It was an awful journey. We had to stop at least every hour to check on Lola but we were desperate to get her seen close to where we live.

“Shawn hadn’t come to Cornwall because he’d had to stay at home and work. So we picked him up and went to Vets Now in Salisbury where they were waiting for us and they admitted Lola straightaway.

“They put her back on a drip to get more fluids into her. They checked her bloods and x-rayed her to see if there was anything else blocking her stomach or intestines.”

She was able to return home the following afternoon.

Rose said: “She’s such an affectionate, good-natured dog – I couldn’t bear to think what life would be like without her."

Laura Playforth, of Vets Now, said: “Seaweed has been championed as a source of vitamins and minerals for both dogs and humans. But seaweed washed up on the beach can be very dangerous for dogs.

“During warm weather, it dries up and shrinks to a fraction of its size. If swallowed it absorbs liquid and starts to expand.

"It can then become lodged in the dog's digestive system, before eventually rupturing it, releasing dangerous digestive fluids and bacteria into the body.”

Signs of seaweed ingestion typically begin with vomiting, diarrhoea and loss of appetite followed by lethargy, depression and weakness.

If untreated, these can lead to potentially fatal dehydration and circulatory shock.

The Vets Now clinic in Salisbury was recently rated as an “outstanding” provider of pet emergency care by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.