We just posted an article about how Hanz died of hyponatremia in a previous post. But there’s more. Dogs across the country are also dying from being exposed to toxic algae in some of our lakes.
There are reports coming in regularly of dogs dying after they had gone for a swim in a lake that had the toxic algae.
Just recently, a couple of North Carolina took their three furry friends dow to the pond for a swim. Just hours afterward they all died. When they got home from the pond, one of the dogs was acting weird, so they took her into the animal hospital and soon, the other two dogs showed symptoms too. They started showing signs of liver failure and seizing.
What are Toxic Algae?
Toxic Algae, otherwise called algal blooms are mostly found in warmer, slow-moving or still water typically early fall and summer months. They are usually found in ponds or small lakes since there is little movement or disturbance, and the temperature is right for algae.
Although several algae varieties form blooms, the one you want to watch for can actually produce toxins that are dangerous and can kill dogs, humans and aquatic life such as fish. The harmful bloom can surface fast, and it forms an ugly floating mat. They can make the water a different color and have a foul smell.
The trouble is that its hard to detect if the bloom is producing toxic algae without testing it for several days, and by then, it may have changed. The other aspect to know here is that it can be dangerous even if the water does not look scummy.
There is definitely a concern for being near or swimming in harmful alga ponds or lakes. The toxic chemicals have killed livestock, dogs, humans, waterfowl, and fish. The dog can die after it eats the scummy mat of algae (cyanobacteria). Even if your dog does not eat it, merely licking its own fur after the swim can cause death to your dog.
In the least, symptoms may include mild respiratory effects with hay fever-like symptoms, vomiting, fever, headaches, diarrhea. It can also cause seizures, neurological damage, and liver damage in dogs.
How to Detect it:
If you are unsure about the body of water, stay away from it. But generally, here are some guidelines on how to spot water with toxic algae blooms:
water will look pea green
There will appear to be a level of slime on the top surface
Often along the shorelines
What to Do if your Dog was Exposed:
If your dog has been exposed or is showing signs of any of the symptoms listed above, you should take your dog into the animal hospital or vet right away or call the Animal Poison Control Center.
The best way to prevent illness or death from toxic alae is to avoid taking your dog to and lake or pond that is stagnant. Watch for that bluish-green scummy surface film at the edge of the lake. If you see it, turn around and leave. Even if the lake seems to be okay, use caution by thoroughly rinsing your dog down after the swim. You want to rinse off any algae cells that may be sticking to your pet’s fur.
Source: Youtube, ACPCA, CBS 8