A woman from Texas claims her dog died after eating toxic blue-green algae growing in a river near her house. According to reports, the unfortunate animal succumbed to a fatal dose of anatoxin and was dead within the hour.
By, 17 Aug 2019
On August 7th Tamra Massey of Boerne, Texas, announced on Facebook that her toy Australian Shepherd Fina had died, probably after ingesting some algae from a nearby river.
Ms Massey writes, "The water was not "infested" with the algae, nor did it look stagnant....else I wouldn't have let her in it. There were simply a few pieces of the algae floating around, we know this because TCEQ [environmental regulator] came out and tested the water...it was considered safe to be in, but she showed us pieces of the live algae to stay clear of.”
According to Massey, Fina started to exhibit signs of poisoning within 15 minutes of leaving the water. Within an hour she was dead.
We reported only last week of a dog that became ill after swimming in Penryn Reservoir in Cornwall. Algal blooms have been reported here and elsewhere in the West Country and Wales, and dog owners are being asked to stay vigilant.
Blue-green algae are not algae at all. It is a term given to a type of cyanobacteria found in fresh water such as inland lakes and rivers. In an optimal environment the bacteria produce toxins which if ingested in a large enough amount it can kill humans and other animals.
Bacteria are most often found in algal blooms which form a green scum on the surface of water. The presence of algae relies on the temperature of the air. Algal blooms are thus most often seen in the summer when the environmental temperature peaks.
It is not possible to determine from an algal bloom whether toxins from bacteria are present. Dog owners are advised not to let their dogs swim in inland water courses especially in the late summer.
The symptoms of toxicosis include vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness and shock. Immediate care is required of a dog that exhibits these symptoms.