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· Premium Member
8,050 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The copy of an email below is an accurate account of a potentially
deadly problem many of us should look out for during the summer. The
link below is to also good to educate yourself on the problem. I had
never heard of this.
http://www.pca. us/water/ clmp-toxicalgae. html
http://www.hc- ewh-semt/ water-eau/ drink-potab/ cyanobacteria- cyanobacte


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
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?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
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
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
was racing. I arrived at the emergency clinic only a half hour from the
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
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
said Vita was not responding and that it appeared that she was suffering
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
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
of fresh water lakes and ponds. The blooms can be blue, bright green,
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
symptoms, including weakness, staggering, difficulty breathing,
convulsions, and
death. People may have numb lips, tingling fingers and toes, or they may

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
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
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
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 toxicological 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


christa with Finder TD,BH,AD,SCH3, FH2,retired SAR
Allessa BH,SCH3,FH2
Chara BH,AD,fly catcher extraordinaire
Sonne TD, BH, SAR 4.1.1990 - 6.26.2005

· Premium Member
9,667 Posts
Thank you for this! I will print it and also forward it to all my dogie friends!

Petey swims every single day in two different ponds, I will be sure to be VERY CAREFUL from now on!

Carol & Petey!

· Registered
3,571 Posts
We had reports of this last year. Two dogs died in a subdivision lake where they are supposed to be doing testing. People swim in these lakes. It is a sad occurance that many people don't know about.

· Registered
61 Posts
Wow, what a sad story. I can't imagine.

About 3 weeks ago I went to a pond pretty close to my house. I wasn't aware it was even there before. I notice something covering the water that I hadn't recognized before. I noticed a family playing in the water and I thought to myself AWESOME I found a place I can take my dog for some extra exercise.

I got home and looked it up on the internet. I found out that this is one of the worst places for algae bloom in my state and it happens every year.

Needless to say we won't be going there. I suggest everyone use their internet. The information is out there, we just need to find it.
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