Important! Blue Algae Information!!!!
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Thread: Important! Blue Algae Information!!!!

  1. #1
    Dani's Avatar
    Dani is offline Senior Member
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    Feb 2009
    Mt. Pleasant, MI

    DefaultImportant! Blue Algae Information!!!!

    This is a sad story...and worth the read...please be diligent folks!!!!
    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

    When I got home I did a 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 Michigan and 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
    5997 Mabley Hill Road
    Fenton , Michigan 48430

    Dani, Rider & Rookie
    SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
    SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC

    Member Since 6/2003

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    DefaultRe: Important! Blue Algae Information!!!!

    That's so sad and very scary.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    DefaultRe: Important! Blue Algae Information!!!!

    I use to take my girls to a local dog park that had a pond. The park at first was pretty well kept but the pond was only recycled water with food coloring added to it. In a year it went to hell..dead fish floating in it, scum type of foam floating on top..way to nasty for anyone to stick a toe in much less let your dog swim in. I know several friends whose dogs got sick after a romp at the park and a swim in that lake. I had a lot of people think I was over reacting but I knew, knew, knew it had to be that nasty water they were swimming in. We go to another park now that has a doggie pool that is kept so well I would swim in it. Thanks Dani for the proof that lake could have indeed be the culprit to many sick dogs. I use a common rule of thumb when it comes to these things..if it's too grose for me then it's too grose for my girls. Such a sad story.

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  6. #4
    Jeep274 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Bucks Co., PA

    DefaultRe: Important! Blue Algae Information!!!!

    Thanks for posting this Dani.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    DefaultRe: Important! Blue Algae Information!!!!

    wow I never knew this. Thanks for posting!

  8. #6
    labby's Avatar
    labby is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    *points to her right palm*

    DefaultRe: Important! Blue Algae Information!!!!

    Yep, this is why my dogs do not get in the lake when there is algae.


  9. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    DefaultRe: Important! Blue Algae Information!!!!

    Great Dani, we've got our first WC class on Monday and I won't let Roo in the H2O...nice, you ruined our fun

  10. #8
    theoconbrio is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    DefaultRe: Important! Blue Algae Information!!!!

    This is a good reminder. Blue-green algae is a neurotoxin. Remember about ten years ago when people were taking it as a supplement and talking about how it made them feel "tingly"? Yeah.


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