A mysterious toxic blue-green algae is killing dogs in hours, here's everything pet owners need to know
New Yorkers urged to report harmful algal blooms as they throw up as green dots or linear streaks. Citizens can take digital photos and upload it on the NYS Health Department site.
Pet parents are being urged to be extra diligent this summer with their pooches, thanks to a terrifying algae that causes seizures in dogs that eventually lead to death.
On Thursday night, Wilmington resident Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz took their three dogs Abby, Izzy, and Harpo out to a local pond to play with the neighborhood dogs. The pond was clear, it had no visible algae. Little did they know that their worst fears were about to come true.
"Within 10 minutes of contact, Abby began seizing," she said speaking to MEA World Wide. Abby was a West Highland White Terrier. Soon after, the other two also showed the same symptoms just five minutes after her. "And within 4 hours, all three dogs had died, and their symptoms appeared to be related to blue-green algae poisoning," the pet parent said. "This is a bacteria," she noted. Martin has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise awareness about the issue.
In another incident in Georgia, Morgan Fleming took her Border Collie Arya to the lake on a day out. About 30 minutes later on the drive home, they noticed that Arya was "making weird noises and she threw up and pooped in the car." Within 30 minutes, the dog was unable to stand up and she was brain dead by the time they reached the ER. "We lost our fun, loving, and crazy girl to what we can only assume was a lake toxin such as blue-green algae," Fleming said.
The same kind of toxic algae that is being reported across New York.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, there are multiple areas in New York that have these poisonous algae. Suffolk County, Brooklyn, Queens, New York as well as Manhattan among other areas have this growth. A spokesperson for the DEC encouraged New Yorkers to report HABs or Harmful Algae Blooms as well as avoid it. This algae, he said, can make an appearance in different shapes and forms - from scattered green dots in the water, to long, linear green streaks, pea soup or spilled green paint, to blue-green or white coloration. People, pets and livestock are encouraged to stay away from water that is discolored or has algal scums.
In a situation that a dog is exposed to the algae and comes in contact and the symptoms show up within 30 minutes, seek immediate help, they said. Wash the algae off with water as soon as possible.
New York Sea Grant's Dogs and Harmful Algal Blooms says that the toxic bacteria in these blooms are cyanobacteria. The exact cause of HABs is still not understood.
Please report any health symptoms to NYS Health Department at [email protected] and your local health department. Take digital photos, both close-ups, and landscape and enter them in the form.