Scary Warning for Swimming Dogs

Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz's three dogs

Abby was the first of the three dogs to show signs of complications.

Canine lovers Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz of Wilmington, North Carolina let their dogs - Harpo, a mixed breed doodle and two West Highland white terriers named Abby and Lizzy - take a swim in a local pond Thursday night.

For dog owners who let their pooches jump into lakes and ponds, a spate of deaths around the United States has led to a warning: Beware the algae.

A doggy play date in a North Carolina pond turned tragic after three pups died from toxic algae.

They contracted blue green algae poisoning and there was nothing they could do.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is warning about a potentially toxic blue-green algae bloom at Rathbun Lake in southeast Iowa.

"We lost our fun, loving, and insane girl to what we can only assume was a lake toxin such as blue green algae", Fleming wrote. It said it will continue to test the water and will announce when the beach reopens.

"Remove from the situation and then hose them down with fresh water, try to provide some fresh drinking water to try to dilute out some of that toxin", Gruchow said. They've been observed in large freshwater lakes, smaller inland lakes, rivers, reservoirs and marine coastal areas and estuaries in all 50 states, according to Schmale. A HAB can look like foam, scum, or mats on the surface of water and can be different colors.

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Some algal blooms leave a film of muck on the surface and make the water ruddy, but others are hard to immediately detect, such as the blooms in the pond where Martin's dogs were exposed.

There have been no reports at this time of any pets or animals dying from the toxic algae in New Jersey. "I will not lose my dogs for nothing". Take your pet to the vet right away if you see these symptoms. Even dogs that avoid the water may be in danger.

"I would give anything to have one more day with them". "Dogs are also more likely to drink the contaminated water".

How do I keep my dog safe? Drinking from a body of water where blue-green algae lurks or licking it off fur can kill a dog within 15 minutes of exposure, according to Blue Cross for Pets, a United Kingdom animal charity. Do not forget to wear gloves to protect yourself.

Blue-green algae can produce harmful toxins. If consumed, it can cause abdominal pain, headaches, vomiting, nausea, blistering around the mouth, flu-like symptoms and even liver toxicity and neurological damage.

Not only are these poisons present in water, but they can also accumulate along the food chain. As a result, food contaminated with HABs have caused a variety of illnesses, and, in the most severe cases, lead to paralysis and respiratory failure, according the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Veterinarians say the process can happen within 15 to 30 minutes.

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