Page 26

pets & WILDLIFE The turning of the seasons… As winter turns into spring, new life, colours and sounds are emerging. The first signs of spring are the delicate and iconic snowdrops and daffodils – the first brave enough to bloom. Carpets of bluebells follow in April and May. The skies will not only be brighter, but they will also be noisier, as birds prepare for breeding and start their ‘dawn chorus’. Butterflies are the next sign of spring. Moths can also be seen early on in the year, and are often mistaken for butterflies. With the arrival of longer and warmer days, do not presume that wildlife still doesn’t need a helping hand, and keep putting out food and water for the birds, to help them through the colder days. Other tasks for the garden include putting up bird boxes and creating ‘wild’ areas with logs and twigs, and building a compost heap, for wildlife to make a home in your garden. Get out and about and explore Dorset’s best wild spaces. Plan your visit at

Upside-down jellyfish bloom after 10 years For the first time in 10 years, a bloom of upside-down jellyfish has been discovered at Weymouth SEA LIFE after curators found them at the bottom of the park’s garden eel tank. Cassiopea, more commonly known as upside-down jellyfish are rare, so the discovery was a huge surprise.  Displays supervisor Kico Iraola, who found the jellyfish, explains, “We previously kept upside-down jellyfish in the same tank many years ago, so we believe that some polyps, similar to a sea anemone, must have been dormant buried in the tank’s rocks for all these years.” Something triggered the polyps to breed and produce 65 tiny jellyfish. The process can go on for days, so it was thought there could be more to follow. The newborns swim around the tank until they find a suitable spot to settle upside-down (hence their name) to capture the sunlight and grow.

Case history from Cedar Vets The case of paracetamol toxicity in ‘Hank’ a 10-month-old, male Doberman. Hank presented to Cedar Vets, Ringwood, 30 minutes after having eaten a box of his owner’s paracetamol tablets. The naughty boy had taken them off the kitchen counter at home. Hank was quiet and not his usual boisterous self but his physical examination was otherwise normal. Due to the massive dose ingested and the small possibility that some tablets might still be in his stomach, an injection was given to make him sick. Despite only having eaten the paracetamol recently, no tablets were seen in the vomit – being human medication they had already very rapidly dissolved and got into his bloodstream. Paracetamol is sometimes prescribed to dogs for pain relief (NB it is NEVER prescribed to cats as it is VERY TOXIC to them at any dose) but Hank had eaten over 50 times the normal dose. Treatment for paracetamol overdose is much the same as in humans and the human antidote is used in dogs. Hank was admitted to the hospital and started on a fluid drip containing the antidote. A blood test confirmed that Hank’s liver and other organs were continuing to function okay despite the toxic levels of paracetamol. Hank stayed overnight in the hospital and his condition improved. He was okay to go home 36 hours later, but came in regularly over the next week for further bloods tests to check his organs were still all right. Hank is happily back to good health due to rapid treatment; however, the outcome could have sadly been much worse. Please take real care not to allow your pets to access any human medications as it can have serious life-threatening Hank consequences.

26 |

4DORSET March 2018

Viewpoint March 2018  
Viewpoint March 2018  

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Super councils on Dorset horizon - Bat roosts destroyed: men sentenced in nationally important case - Fake police target...