3 dogs dead after playing in pond overrun with blue-green algae

3 dogs dead after playing in pond overrun with blue-green algae

3 dogs dead after playing in pond overrun with blue-green algae

Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz said they took their beloved pups - Abby, Izzy, and Harpo - to the body of water in Wilmington, N.C. Thursday evening, where the pets chased a ball and rolled around in the mud, before cooling off with a dip. However, 15 minutes after leaving the pond, Abby, a West Highland White Terrier, began suffering from a seizure and was rushed to a veterinary hospital. Then Harpo, her 6-year-old "doodle" mix therapy dog, began to seize and show signs of liver failure.

11Alive spoke with Dr. Mark Aubel, Analytical Chemist and President of Greenwater Laboratories, who recently conducted a study on toxic blue-green algae's affect on dogs.

A Wilmington, NC resident is devastated after her three dogs suddenly died yesterday following an afternoon of playing in a local body of water.

What is blue-green algae?

They had been exposed to blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, which was present in the lake the dogs had played in. "We are gutted", explained Martin in a Facebook Post.

She is determined to ensure that signs are put in place to warn people about these potential dangers so that lives can be saved.

On top of that, it can be hard to detect where algae blooms have formed.

"I will not stop until I make positive change", she said. "It just kind of behooves anybody that sees algae in a lake, in a pond, that they'd probably want to be cautious and just not expose themselves to it or to their pets". It typically multiplies and blooms when the water is warm.

A GoFundMe has been created to raise awareness about the algae and get signs in front of all contaminated water to protect other pets. 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. However, if a health notice isn't posted, it's recommended that humans and pets avoid waters that seem murky or smell bad.

The US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) also notes on its website that it is not always possible to know if there is an algal bloom in a body of water, although sometimes it will leave foam, scum or algal mats on the water's surface.

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