Dog owners are being warned to avoid highly toxic sea hares, which are once again washing up on Geraldton’s beaches. The deadly brown and black slugs, which appear between January and April, are poisonous enough to kill even large dogs. They excrete a toxic purple dye when threatened, and any close contact — including a sniff or a lick — can prove fatal. Symptoms include tremors, seizures, frothing at the mouth, drooling, vomiting, and heavy breathing. Chapman Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr David Joubert said there was no antidote. “Treatment is supportive care, essentially, so you give them something to stop the muscle tremors,” he said. “It just happens so quick that the sooner they get to a clinic, the better, because the longer it goes for, the worse off the dog is. “It’s better if dogs can stay on the lead and just avoid them entirely. “Owners should be aware that if they come into contact by sniffing or licking, that’s bad. If they’re eating it, that’s really bad.” If you suspect your dog has come into contact with a sea hare, take them to a vet immediately. Emergency after-hours vets can be contacted on 0407 471 933.