EIFCA have been made aware that strong winds have led to several mass strandings of marine fauna along the Norfolk and Suffolk coasts recently. It is important to know that some stranded species, in particular types of starfish, may contain Paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) toxins that could be harmful to humans and dogs if consumed.

The list of symptoms below are those described for human intoxication, similar symptoms are expected to occur in mammals exposed to toxic levels of PSP.

Symptoms develop quickly, usually within 30 minutes, and include:

  • Tingling/burning sensation followed by numbness in the lips, tongue and face which
    progresses to extremities.
  • Paralysis of limbs, loss of muscle co-ordination, constrictive sensation in the throat.
  • In high doses, paralysis can extend to the respiratory system, affecting breathing.
  • Other symptoms exhibited in canines exposed to PSP toxins have included vomiting,
    reduction in movement, difficulty walking and/or standing, loss of consciousness


If you plan to walk your dog on your local beach, please keep them on a lead and ensure they do not consume any stranded animals.

If you suspect that your dog has consumed stranded fauna and is feeling unwell, please contact your local vet immediately and provide them with the following:

For further information
please contact
Alison Andrews,
Temporary Honorary Secretary on  

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