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Warning to dog owners that let their dogs swim in ponds and lakes



 
 
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Old 30-06-2007, 11:48 PM posted to alt.garden.pond.chat
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Default Warning to dog owners that let their dogs swim in ponds and lakes

PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST

Bob Tatus wrote:

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 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 cyan bacterial 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 cyan
bacterial bloom die, the water may smell bad.

-Some cyan bacteria 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 cyan bacterial 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


Posted by Gail and princess (border collie)
Richdeer3 Pond Supplies
Educating and Equipping Pond Enthusiasts
Http://www.richdeer3pondsupplies.com


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