Lake Algae Toxicity
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Thread: Lake Algae Toxicity

  1. #1

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    Lake Algae Toxicity

    FW: AlgaeToxicity in Dogs
    July 4, 2007

    It is with a very heavy heart that I write this and I apologize
    for its length. Please, PLEASE
    pass this around.

    On Monday, June 25, 2007 I took my healthy 9 month old Border
    Collie Vita swimming at
    approximately 6:30 p.m. Vita and two other BC's spent about an
    hour and a half diving off
    the dock, chasing the Water Kong, and running around.

    The temperature that day was just over 90 degrees, but none of
    the dogs looked
    particularly winded or hot.

    Vita emerged from the water and looked as if she was going to
    vomit. She threw up lake
    water three times. I wasn't particularly concerned as she took
    in a lot of water from
    retrieving and swimming so much and had seen other dogs do that
    in the past without
    complications.

    After the third time throwing up, she lay down and closed her
    eyes. Her tongue was
    hanging out of her mouth and I began to suspect she may have heat
    stroke. I immediately
    placed ice on her stomach and checked her gums. They were pink. I
    took her temperature
    which was 101.9, still normal. I then called my Vet who said
    these conditions did not
    indicate heat stroke and said I needed to get emergency medical
    attention right away.

    Vita was not responsive and when I picked her up to put her in
    the car she was limp and
    her eyes were still closed. Her breathing was slow and her heart
    was racing. I arrived at the
    emergency clinic only a half hour from the time she showed signs
    of distress. The ER Vet
    asked me what sorts of things Vita had been doing all day. I
    explained that she was crated
    as I was gone for the latter part of the afternoon and that upon
    coming home, the only
    other place she went was to the lake.

    Vita's eyes were fixed and dilated and the Vet suggested there
    was already brain damage.
    After administering an IV and oxygen, the Vet called me in and
    said Vita was not
    responding and that it appeared that she was suffering from some
    kind of toxic poisoning.
    Her heart rate was 200. He mentioned that he had recently seen a
    couple of dogs who died
    from Blue Green Algae Toxicity. I told him that the lake had what
    appeared to be algae
    blooms on the surface of the water. Neither of the other two dogs
    showed any of the signs
    that Vita had and that neither dog took in as much water as Vita
    apparently did. We
    decided to put her on a ventilator overnight and give her a
    "chance" to pull through.

    When I got home I did a www.dogpile.com <http://www.dogpile.com/>
    search of "Blue Green Algae Toxicity in Dogs" and found some very
    disturbing information.

    -Blooms can occur at any time, but most often occur in late
    summer or early fall. They can
    occur in marine, estuarine, and fresh waters,but the blooms of
    greatest concern are the
    ones that occur in fresh water, such as drinking water reservoirs
    or recreational waters.

    -Some cyanobacterial blooms can look like foam, scum, or mats on
    the surface of fresh
    water lakes and ponds. The blooms can be blue, bright green,
    brown, or red and may look
    like paint floating on the water. Some blooms may not affect the
    appearance of the water.
    As algae in a cyanobacterial bloom die, the water may smell bad.

    -Some cyanobacteria that can form CyanoHABs (Harmful Algal
    Blooms) produce toxins
    that are among the most powerful natural poisons known. These
    toxins have no known
    antidotes.

    -Swallowing water that has cyanobacterial toxins in it can cause
    acute, severe
    gastroenteritis (including diarrhea and vomiting).

    -Liver toxicity (i.e., increased serum levels of liver enzymes).
    Symptoms of liver poisoning
    may takes hours or days to show up in people or animals. Symptoms
    include abdominal
    pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

    -Kidney toxicity.

    -Neurotoxicity. These symptoms can appear within 15 to 20 minutes
    after exposure. In
    dogs, the neurotoxins can cause salivation and other neurologic
    symptoms, including
    weakness, staggering, difficulty breathing, convulsions, and
    death. People may have numb
    lips, tingling fingers and toes, or they may feel dizzy.

    Vita had indeed exhibited salivation and signs of weakness,
    staggering, difficulty
    breathing and vomiting.

    At 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 I called the Vet and was
    told that they took Vita
    off the ventilator a couple of times during the night and that
    she was not breathing on her
    own. I told him to discontinue the procedure and to let her go.

    I called the DNR here in Michiganand was told that Blue Green
    Algae didn't usually appear
    this time of year and I told the agent that the conditions were
    that of late summer in
    Michigan,very hot for the last two days and reminded him that
    Blue Green Algae can
    appear at any time. He told me not to panic or to alarm other
    people. I told him that had
    someone else panicked, we wouldn't be having this conversation
    right now.

    Later that morning I found out from a neighbor that her two young
    boys had vomiting,
    diarrhea and stomach cramps last week and her Doctor suggested
    she bring in a water
    sample. I do not know if she did or not.

    I also talked to a woman from a neighboring county whose
    neighbor's dog ingested a lot
    of water from a pond and died suddenly a couple weeks ago.

    As of this writing, Wednesday, June 27th, I have not heard
    anything from Michigan State
    where I took Vita for a necropsy and toxoligical panel.

    For the time being, I would strongly suggest you watch your dogs
    when swimming in small
    lakes and ponds as the potential threat of toxic poisoning from
    Blue Green Algae is
    prevalent. Had I known that algae of any kind was toxic, you can
    be sure my dogs wouldn't
    be swimming anywhere and that Vita, whose name quite ironically
    meant "life" in Latin,
    would be alive today.

    Missing you more than you can imagine.
    May you rest in peace, Red Top Vita
    09/05/06 - 06/26/07

    Bob Tatus
    Michigan
    Address & Phone withheld, if needed, contact me (DogAdvocat)
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  3. #2
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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  4. #3

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    Re: Lake Algae Toxicity

    Whoops, I didn't know this had already been posted. Did you want to remove this thread? Ok with me. :-)
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  6. #4
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Algae Toxicity

    No, it's important information and worth repeating.

    As I was reading your post, I just had this weird sense of deja vu. No harm done.
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  7. #5
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    Its Blue/Green Algae time again

    Perhaps we can sticky this .......

    Please watch your pets.....
    last year a friend of mine lost a young female Irish Water Spaniel who had a litter of young pups.....

    Please watch your lakes and ponds....

    This link is to the NH Dept. of Env. Services.....

    It gives a great deal of information and has pictures of what a blue green algae outbreak on a lake looks like......

    http://www.des.state.nh.us/Beaches/cyanobacteria.html

    s
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