Warning to dogs and people that swim in lakes and ponds

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 snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com
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something good and special for all of you. I'm so sorry you lost your puppy. You did your best for her. Thank you for sharing this.
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Swimming where, river, lake, pond? Many people think that a body of water is just waiting to become a septic tank.
--
Billy
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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wrote:

Dog owners consider "here" to be their dog's toilet. Wherever is convenient. Their unwitting victims love wasting time cleaning dog crap off their shoes, car mats or floors at home.
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Sad, My nephews lab loves the water. I showed him this Sundays Detroit Free Press article about your dog. Small World, I read this yesterday. http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID 07707010538
Dan ..........
--
Email "dan lehr at comcast dot net". Text only or goes to trash automatically.

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this is mostly hysteria. the report is a single incident, endlessly reposted like a virus. of all the hunting dogs jumping into endless bodies of water to retrieve countless numbers of birds and chomping drinking the water, I have never heard of this before.
dont take a dog swimming in a stinking pond with a thick foul smelling scum of algae on top.
"Summary: The growth of highly toxic blue-green algae can occur in the waters of Indiana. Poisoning by the neurotoxins causes rapid death with or without signs of cholinesterase inhibition. Poisoning by the hepatotoxins causes massive liver necrosis with severe intrahepatic hemorrhage and death. Diagnosis is based on history of exposure, clinical signs,blue-green algae in the GI tract, and necropsy findings.
Introduction: Blue-green algae are not true algae, but are cyanobacteria which grow in fresh water in temperate areas world-wide, including Indiana. Under the appropriate weather and water conditions, usually in the late summer or fall after a drought, the blue-green algae can form a rapidly growing "bloom". These blooms can occur in farm ponds and larger bodies of water forming a thick, often foul-smelling scum of brown, to green, to blue-green algae. Winds can then blow the blue-green algae to the shore and concentrate it where the animals have to drink it with the water. In many instances, the algae will not be poisonous. However, sometimes, for unknown reasons, the blue-green algae in these blooms form ncuroloxinsor hepatotoxins which can prove deadly to animals drinking the water." http://www.addl.purdue.edu/newsletters/1996/fall/bluegreenalgae.shtml Ingrid
On Mon, 02 Jul 2007 11:54:22 -0400, "Dan L."

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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com wrote:

Hysteria.... Only time will tell. All horrible things start with one. Just hope it ends here. But with the proliferation of pollution, new diseases, genetic engineering and poor sanitation here and around the world. It is a good to post a WARNING just in case. An old saying "Hope for the best, Plan for the worst".

Sound Advice to me.

The exception listed below, to be wary. "However, sometimes............."

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