Dog Owners Around The Country Are being warned About Toxic Algae Blamed For Dog Deaths
A deadly strain of algae that lives in water has been blamed for the deaths of dogs in the South and Southwest. Last Wednesday a dog became ill after wading in a very shallow pond in Texas. The dog died en-route to an animal hospital.
In Wilmington, North Carolina three dogs died shortly after wading in a pond on Thursday. Veterinarians who are familiar with the cases said the culprit is a blue-green algae that can be found in both fresh and salt water.
The algae is called ‘cyanobacteria‘ and can be deadly to dogs in as little as minutes, hours, days after exposure. A dog also died after swimming in Lake Allatoona in Georgia on Saturday. This type of algae has been fermenting for over 3.5 billions years, and is known as ‘the primitive algae’.
Larry Brand a marine biology professor at the University of Miami, said this algae can also be harmful to humans.. The reason why it’s just claiming dogs, is because they are more likely to ingest the algae.
When The Algae Is Present In The Water It Floats To The Top Creating A Blue- Green Scum
When people are in the water and algae is present it’s not invisible. It creates a blue- green scum like matter. People know that’s it toxic and know not to ingest it, dogs on the other hand, may try to taste it.
It’s easy to confuse the deadly toxic blue-green algae with a greenish algae, both cause issues when present in water. However the blue-green Algae can be and is often fatal. Brand has been studying this type of algae. He said veterinarians claim that the blue-green algae has been killing dogs for over 100 years.
The problem now is that these incidents of dogs coming into contact with the deadly algae are much more common now. Due to untreated sewage, and the use of fertilizers, is causing these algae blooms to grow in numbers. Not only are their numbers increasing but also their level of toxicity.
Scientists Studying the Toxic Algae Also Blame Climate Change On The Numbers Increasing
Warmer weather across the globe, is also a recipe for disaster where the algae are concerned. Morgan and Patrick Fleming of Georgia took their boarder collie Arya out to get out of the heat of the Georgia summer.
They decided to to go to Allatoona Lake located on the Etowah River, Arya frolicked and played in the water like she usually did. As soon as they got her in the car she started throwing up and couldn’t control her bowel movements.
Instead of driving home, the Flemings took Arya to an animal hospital. When they arrived Arya was already brain dead. Before taking dogs to any body of water, people are being warned about the algae. They should look for discoloration in the water and dead fish. Any sign of this, and the water should be avoided by dogs and humans alike.