Three dogs die after swimming in a pond filled with toxic blue-green algae

Swimming is an excellent summer activity for dogs. It allows them to cool off, exercise, and have fun with their humans.

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When Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz took their three dogs to a pond in their neighborhood, their plan was just to have a fun time.

Source: Facebook/Melissa Martin

Their Thursday evening started well. The dogs were happily playing in the mud while chasing their ball. Unfortunately, though, something bad happened.

Fifteen minutes after leaving the pond, Abby, a white West Highland terrier, started having seizures.

Realizing that something was incredibly wrong, they rushed to the nearest veterinary hospital.

Source: Facebook/Melissa Martin

There, Izzy, another West Highland Terrier, started seizing as well. Soon after, Harpo, a 6-year-old doodle mix, fell ill and began to seize.

By midnight, all three of the poor dogs had crossed the rainbow.

It was devastating news for everyone. After all, they were just having fun a few hours earlier.

Melissa was told that the dogs came in contact with blue-green algae, a poisonous microscopic bacteria which typically thrive in both fresh and saltwater.

Contrary to what most people think, the bacteria doesn’t grow in dirty and nasty water only.

“If you search blue green algae, you see pictures of nasty water. That is false! The place our dogs played for their last time was crystal clear except for what appeared to be debris from foliage,” Melissa shared.

The dogs didn’t even get in the water.

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Source: Facebook/Melissa Martin

They played in the mud and didn’t actually swim.

The poor dogs stayed at the edge of the pond. Unfortunately, it was enough to kill them.

Algae-contaminated water is seriously toxic. Even very minimal exposure, like accidentally drinking a mouthful of the water, can cause fatal poisoning.

Source: Unsplash

Algal blooms are a serious environmental problem.

And with the ongoing threat of climate change, they will continue to cause problems in the country’s waterway. This means that they will also continue to be threats to dogs who just want to take a quick swim in the water.

The toxic algae mainly target the nervous system and other major organs. They can affect both humans and animals.

However, dogs and children are more at risk because they tend to spend more time on the edge of lakes and ponds where the blooms are generally more concentrated.

There’s no antidote to neutralize toxins produced by blue-green algae.

This is one of the reasons why Melissa is working hard to raise awareness and let everyone know the dangers of blue-green algae poisoning.

Melissa said:

“By the end of this year, I plan to contact whoever I need to contact to make sure we have signs up at every body of water like this that says it’s toxic. Because nobody knows. Kids could get in it and it could poison them, as well.”

Source: YouTube

Dog owners should be very careful when taking their dogs to any water. Remember, even if a body of water is clean, it’s not a guarantee that it’s safe. It’s hard to tell if a pond or a lake is contaminated with blue-green algae without testing.

For Melissa, putting up signs is important.

“I want to see signs on every body of water like this. I don’t care if it says private property or no trespassing or whatever. Put some signs up so people know,”- she said.

To learn more about this heartbreaking story and a few precautions you can take to identify a possible algae bloom, watch the video below.

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