If you believe your dog may have been out swimming in contaminated water, look out for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and hyper-salivation.
The best way to get your dogs to cool off in this heat is by letting them jump into the water. However, that may be quite fatal for them at this point as a number of dogs have tragically died after they were exposed to toxic algae found in water. These incidents highlight the deadly threat posed by microscopic bacteria lurking in unsuspecting ponds and rivers, reports Fox News.
Recently, in North Carolina, three dogs died after swimming in a Wilmington pond and becoming exposed to toxic algae. Their owner took to Facebook to share that their dogs “contracted blue-green algae poisoning” after their swim and that the algae killed the pets within a matter of hours.
Morgan Fleming posted on Facebook: This morning we thought, it’s so hot! Let’s go to the lake! We took our sweet Arya to the lake and had the best day playing ball and swimming around! About 30 minutes later on the drive home, we noticed her making weird noises and she threw up and pooped in the car. We called our vet on the drive and they suggested we take her in. By this point, our girl couldn’t even stand...
They told us she was in critical condition so we took her to the ER. By the time we got there, she was brain dead... Today was absolutely awful. We lost our fun, loving, and crazy girl to what we can only assume was a lake toxin such as blue-green algae. Arya, no dog will ever replace you in our hearts. We already miss you more than you could know. I hope you’re running around like a wild girl with all the other boarder collies in doggo heaven.
The dogs have reportedly died in Austin, Texas and Marietta, Ga. after swimming in algae-filled waters. The city of Austin reportedly warned pet owners not to let their pets swim in Lady Bird Lake as a result of algal blooms. The tweet read: UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE • Pets (& people) should not swim in or drink from Lady Bird Lake. • Red Bud Isle is closed. We have confirmed potentially harmful algal blooms in Lady Bird Lake & posted signs indicating the danger.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE— City of Austin (@austintexasgov) August 8, 2019
• Pets (& people) should not swim in or drink from Lady Bird Lake.
• Red Bud Isle is closed.
We have confirmed potentially harmful algal blooms in Lady Bird Lake & posted signs indicating the danger. More information & updates at https://t.co/PXa87Jf5jl pic.twitter.com/2B0VK0SEGi
Experts say that the algae can form in different bodies of water. “Cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) are microscopic bacteria found in freshwater lakes, streams, ponds and brackish water ecosystems,” explains the Pet Poison Helpline on its website.
“They can produce toxins (such as microcystins and anatoxins) that affect people, livestock and pets that swim in and drink from the algae-contaminated water.”
Not sure if it’s related, but my dog got really sick the day after swimming here a few weeks ago, had a fever, and then an extreme dermatologic reaction where she was bleeding all over her skin. Our vet and animal hospital had no idea what it was. I thought she was going to die. pic.twitter.com/lOR6jSBlGc— Rebfan1987 (@Rebfan1987) August 8, 2019
“While most blue-green algae blooms do not produce toxins, it is not possible to determine the presence of toxins without testing,” the helpline added. “Thus, all blooms should be considered potentially toxic. Very small exposures, such a few mouthfuls of algae-contaminated water, may result in fatal poisoning.” Dogs, particularly, are at great risk for algal toxin poisoning, according to GreenWater Laboratories, an organization that runs tests for harmful algal blooms.
Two suspicious harmful algal blooms have been documented in Washington County this month at Dead Lake in Jackson and in the Champlain Canal in Fort Edward, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation's notifications map. https://t.co/IOBFnXm4a5— The Post-Star (@poststar) August 13, 2019
“The most sensitive individuals to algal toxin poisoning are those that ingest cyanobacteria when they are in the water,” they explained on the website. “Many times, those individuals are dogs, since they are entering and exiting algal blooms at shorelines. It is a good idea to keep pets out of the water when cyanobacteria may be present.” If you believe your dog may have been out swimming in contaminated water, look out for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and hyper-salivation.
More than 30 states now have monitoring programs for harmful algae blooms, which this summer led to lake closures in New Jersey and Rhode Island. https://t.co/yPcchki9Ag— CyanoTRACKER (@CyanoTracker) August 14, 2019
“Harmful algae usually bloom during the warm summer season or when water temperatures are warmer than usual,” the Environmental Protection Agency added on their website. According to the EPA, scientists have predicted that the harmful algal blooms will occur at a much greater frequency and intensity, and will spring up in more water bodies as a result of climate change.
The #CyANapp, which shows the occurrence of harmful algal blooms in your local lakes, can help you keep your pets safe when you're spending time outside together! Download the app: https://t.co/cyXfROBypL #HABs #PublicHealth #PetHealth pic.twitter.com/9NyJoqPD95— US EPA Research (@EPAresearch) August 9, 2019