Sea Hare - toxic to dogs

March 18, 2003
From: Sandra & Andy Rose

Our dog has ingested a small quantity of what we think was an Aplysia gigantea. We appear to be experiencing a 'mass mortality' event in Augusta, Western Australia, with huge numbers of these creatures being washed up on beaches and at the top end of the Hardy inlet. Wilbur has been treated by our local veterinarian but we do not know if he will pull through. Unfortunately we were unaware of the toxicity of these creatures to dogs. We will be spreading the word to others.
Sandra & Andy Rose,
Augusta, WA.

Dear Sandra & Andy,
I am very sorry to hear about your dog. I hope he recovers. Thanks for the information which is a valuable addition to our knowledge. All previous incidences of dog-poisoning have occurred in the Geraldton region, so yours from Augusta in the southwestern corner of Western Australia suggests that this is a much more widespread phenomenon than previously thought. I mentioned earlier that I would have expected to have heard of poisonings form the much more densely populated Perth region if the phenomenon was widespread, because there have been many reports over the years of mass strandings of Sea Hares from Perth.

I am sorry I can't offer you any advice, or cure. To my knowledge, nowhere else in Australia, or for that matter the world, has a similar problem, and sea hares certainly wash up like this all around the world.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Mar 18). Comment on Sea Hare - toxic to dogs by Sandra & Andy Rose . [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Aplysia gigantea

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