Dogs die after playing in pond with blue-green algae
Several dogs in the U.S. have died after being exposed to toxic blue-green algae.
WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA — Several dogs have become fatally ill after swimming in lakes and ponds and ingesting water contaminated with toxic algae.
According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, toxic blue green algae or cyanobacteria blooms typically infest bodies of stagnant fresh water during warm weather.
The New York Times reports that while they can look like floating green sand or scum, some lurk beneath the surface or attach to plants, and may not be immediately visible. Winds can also blow alage from one area into another.
Dogs swimming in contaminated lakes or ponds can drink in the algae while in the water, or lick pieces of it off their wet fur.
Those playing near the water can also nibble at or eat toxic algae that have dried into clumps on the shore.
According to Blue Cross for Pets, toxins produced by blue-green algal blooms can stop a dog's liver from functioning properly.
Exposure to toxic algae is almost always fatal, with some types capable of killing a dog just 15 minutes to an hour after ingestion.
The dangers of exposing pets to blue-green algae gained national attention this year when a woman in North Carolina lost her three dogs after they went swimming in a pond.
Pet owners in Texas and Georgia have also reported dog deaths following exposure to algal toxins.
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