Dr Andrew Jones DVM, warns about toxic Blue-Green Algae, particularly dangerous for dogs.The following incidence happened last year, but is applicable today as the conditions for toxic algae blooms are once again happening, says Dr Jones in his Newsletter https://www.theinternetpetvet.com/.
This happened in August 2019 in Wilmington, N.C.
Visit To The Pond Ended With Their Three Pups Dying
Two North Carolina women hope to spare other dog-lovers from the heartbreak they endured, after a visit to the pond ended with their three pups dying of toxic algae poisoning a few hours later.
Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz brought their dogs Abby, Izzy and Harpo to the pond to cool off after a hot day in Wilmington, N.C. The dogs played in the mud, swam in the water and chased each other around, relishing every moment.
Unbeknownst to both dog and owner, they were also being exposed to blue-green algae, a toxic bacteria that can cause extreme reactions in humans and animals, including liver failure and death.
The dogs collapsed into a series of seizures later that evening, and a trip to the vet couldn’t help them. All three dogs died of liver failure shortly after midnight.
Can Produce One Of The Most Powerful Poisons Found In Nature
Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, can produce one of the most powerful poisons found in nature, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It can grow in lakes, rivers and ponds through most of the United States and Canada, and often grows due to fertilizer runoff from farmers’ fields.
Blue-green algae is not always visible, but it usually smells like freshly-cut grass or rotting garbage, according to information on the Ontario government’s website. Only some species of the algae produce deadly toxins, but it’s impossible to tell just from looking at it.
The CDC says toxic algae is a threat to both humans and animals, although dogs are particularly vulnerable because of their love of swimming.
“Dogs will get in a body of water even if it looks or smells bad, including when it contains cyanobacteria,” the CDC says. “Dogs are also more likely to drink the contaminated water.”
The CDC recommends rinsing off dogs immediately and preventing them from licking their fur after suspected exposure to blue-green algae.
Spread The Word
Martin and Mintz hope to spread the word about blue-green algae so no one else has to go through what they did with their pets.
“We are gutted,” Martin wrote on Facebook. “We will make sure every standing body of water has a warning sign.”
Veterinary Toxicologist say there is no specific treatment for poisoning from cyanobacteria. The rapid onset of clinical signs precludes most attempts. Once the signs of poisoning have developed, the prognosis is very poor. In severe cases, it is not uncommon to have the pet die while being transported to the hospital.
Consultation with veterinarians at animal poison control centers is recommended to provide current treatment options and assist with case management.
Warning to persons handling any animal affected
Individuals handling affected animals need to take special safety precautions to prevent respiratory irritation, contact dermatitis, or death. Protective clothing, including safety suits or aprons, long gloves, and eye protection, should be worn and good ventilation provided.
images: courtesy of Melissa Martin
source: Dr Andrew Jones DVM, https://www.theinternetpetvet.com/
original article: Here&Now, Broadcast and web , Wilmington, North Carolina, https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2019/08/27/blue-green-algae-dog-deaths
TODAY Show, https://www.today.com/health/what-know-about-blue-green-algae-s-killing-dogs-t160631