Numerous dogs have died from a deadly strain of blue-green algae that is being found in lakes and streams all over the country.
Blue-green algae is also known as cyanobacteria and is most likely to thrive in bodies of warm freshwater. When the temperature reaches over 75 degrees, you are more likely to come into contact with this type of bacteria. These algae can be harmful to fish and animals, and sometimes even humans.
Last month, two dogs died after swimming in Lady Bird Lake, in Austin, Texas, after coming into contact with the deadly algae. The park has been closed in response to the danger.
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Mineghino, one of the animal’s owners, told the American-Statesman that she noticed her dog having a hard time breathing.
“Two minutes into the drive, I stopped hearing him move. I was just screaming in the car, ‘You are going to be OK. I love you. We are almost there,’” she said.
Sadly, just after arriving at the vet, they informed her that the dog was braindead, and would need to be put down.
At 12:08 AM, our dogs crossed the rainbow bridge together. They contracted blue green algae poisoning and there was…
“I laid with him for about an hour. They gave him the euthanasia, and that was that,” Mineghino said.
Another pet-owner interviewed by the American-Statesman, named Saccardi, is hoping to raise awareness so no other dogs are hurt.
“I am just concerned because I think this was handled too slow. I am worried that people still don’t know or they don’t understand how serious it is. … If I had known, we would have never gone. I loved Harper with my whole heart, and we would have never gone,” Saccardi said.
City spokesman David Green responded to accusations that not enough was being done to warn pet owners about the danger, saying that the city could not entirely confirm that algae was actually the cause of death.
“The animal was destroyed before we had the opportunity to have a toxicology screening, To my knowledge, I don’t think that test was done,” Green said.
Later, City officials announced that other areas downstream could also be affected.
“I wouldn’t go in the water for the next several months, even when they say the water is fine,” Mineghino said.
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Drinking from water that contains blue-green algae or even licking it off fur can kill a dog within 15 minutes of exposure, according to Blue Cross for Pets.
Be on the lookout for this type of toxic algae when you are around any body of water. The surface of the water will appear to be a pea-green paint or green slime on the surface if toxic algae is present.
Thus far in the United States, the algae has been reported as far east as North Carolina, and as far west as Colorado.