Toxic blue-green algae can poison your dog

Three dogs died from toxic algae after swimming. Now their devastated owner is warning fellow dog lovers all over the country

In Wilmington, North Carolina, three dogs died after frolicking in a pond, while another succumbed after a swim in Lake Allatoona, Georgia. 15 minutes later one of the dogs, a West Highland terrier called Abby, had a seizure. Then Harpo, her 6-year-old "doodle" mix therapy dog, began to seize and show signs of liver failure. By the next night, all three dogs had passed away.

Results from waters samples collected on August 7th from two beaches at the lake, Buck Creek and Island View, tested positive for the toxin microcystin, which is produced by the algae.

'What started out as a fun night for them has ended in the biggest loss of our lives, ' Martin wrote.

By midnight on Friday, all three dogs had died, Martin said. The vet told Fleming that toxic blue-green algae on the lake was likely the cause of Arya's sickness and death.

The blooms, caused by cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, began in June in New Jersey, closing lakes and reservoirs throughout the state as well as prompting officials to issue advisories at other impacted bodies of water.

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There were no signs warning visitors of toxic algae near the pond, Martin told multiple media sources. Many dogs like to scavenge the shore where they may find - and eat - drying clumps of algae.

So what is making this toxic algae bloom to such a degree? She now hopes to use the donations from the GoFundMe account to make sure other pet owners are not caught off-guard. But in high numbers, they form toxic blooms, often creating a thick mat that resembles pea soup on the surface of the water.

There have been no reports at this time of any pets or animals dying from the toxic algae in New Jersey.

Dogs are especially vulnerable to exposre because they will continue to drink and play in water even if it looks dirty, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says on its website. Massive blooms can occur in environments when significant amounts of nutrients, either from fertilizer or other natural processes, run off into waterways, producing conditions that allow the organisms to overwhelm a body of water.

It's better to keep your dogs away from ponds that look unusual in colour or are murky, as well as those that smell bad.

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