Another dog has died after being exposed to toxic algae

Another dog has died after being exposed to toxic algae

A dog owner who hails from Texas has taken to Facebook to warn social media users about the dangers of letting pets swim freely in large bodies of water after her own dog perished after being poisoned by toxic algae.

Tamra Massey, who lives in the city of Austin, told Fox 7  that her Australian shepherd, Fina, died after swimming in the Guadalupe River on July 31. Tamara had been taking her beloved pet out for a walk in the countryside when things went horribly wrong.

It had been a hot day, and so Fina had apparently wanted to cool off by going for a swim. However, little did she know that the water was very dangerous, and later that day Tamara noticed that her dog was acting strangely.

Soon after she went for her swim, Fina had two seizures and was left stiff, disorientated and dizzy. She vomited frequently and was unable to keep down her food, and Tamara took her to the vet that day.

Unfortunately, the vet told her that there was nothing they could do, as the dog's diaphragm had seized up. Fina had to be put down.

Taking to Facebook to share a collage of pictures of the unlucky animal, Tamara captioned the post: "I am posting this so I can, hopefully, help anyone else from going through the heartbreak we've gone, and are still going, through ... Our sweet little Fina died last Wednesday. [sic]"

She continued: "We were at the river by our house, and one of the spots she was in was a "cut" off of a little peninsula. It was still, and probably less than a foot deep. (A scenario we know now, to harbor this bacteria/algae... still, shallow, warm, nutrient rich water) 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. [sic]"

She added: "Fina probably ate some, as she loved biting at leaves, and things floating by in the water. But even if she would have simply gotten some on her fur and then groomed herself, the outcome would likely have been the same [sic]."

Tamara later posted a follow-up status, in which she said: "After seeing some comments I feel I need to make something clear. The water did not look stagnant/dirty, nor was it covered with algae. We were in the same water.  It was a mix of a very few pieces of algae floating about, and a sweet little dog who loooooved the water, and biting at anything that would float by ... that is all it took."

The dangerous algae that Fina likely ingested is called 'Cyanobacteria' - a microscopic bacteria found in freshwater lakes, streams, ponds and brackish water ecosystems. It can be highly harmful to humans and animals.

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So if you're out and about with your pet near a large body of water that you don't know is safe, then please keep them on the lead.