3 dogs die hours after exposure to toxic algae in pond

National News

Photo: Melissa Martin via WECT

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WTVO) — Just hours after their owners brought their three dogs to play in a nearby pond, they were dead – their sudden deaths caused by toxic blue-green algae.

Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz told WECT that after playing in the water, the dogs began acting strange.

Martin took the dogs to the Animal Emergency and Trauma Hospital of Wilmington, where they showed signs of liver failure.

Just after midnight, all three dogs died.

Blue-green algae is a group of bacteria not visible to the naked eye unless clumped together, according to Blue Cross for Pets, blooms of which are most common in non-flowing fresh water like lakes or ponds.

Dogs can drink the bacteria or lick their fur after being exposed to the bacteria.

“People need to know about this. Like I said, if we had any clue this was ever a thing we would have never come. We had no idea. And once we got to the emergency vet last night they also weren’t sure,” Martin said. “They kind of thought maybe that’s what it was but we had to spend time on the phone with poison control. We ended up losing all three of them within just a few hours.”


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