Update: Now 3 dogs have died at Lady Bird Lake in Austin. Below is a Facebook post and memorial for one dog that passed away.
The owner wants to warn other pet owners. RIP Ollie.
CBS Austin reports that a third dog is reported dead after swimming there.
Original post published August 6, 2019.
This is happening all over the country. Pet owners are having trouble with harmful blue-green algae blooms in our lakes. Two dogs in Austin, Texas are dead after swimming in Lady Bird Lake and now the city suspects these toxic blooms are the cause as they are very harmful to our animals if ingested.
According to The City of Austin, they cannot confirm the reason for the deaths of two dogs that were swimming there as they just tested the water but now they're advising pet owners to keep their animals out of Lady Bird Lake until further notice.
"While algae is not uncommon in natural waterways, the City and LCRA are testing the water and algae to evaluate toxicity. Testing will take between two to four days to complete. In the interim, it is recommended the public take precaution and not allow pets to swim in or drink water from the lake. When the results of the testing are available, additional information will be shared."
The City of Austin posted this on Twitter.
UPDATE: As this situation evolves please DO NOT allow pets to swim or drink from Lady Bird Lake until further notice. Water quality is being tested due to presence of a blue green algae that may release a neurotoxin. More info at: https://t.co/WTfyqDod7I https://t.co/PGYDupFzwj
— City of Austin (@austintexasgov) August 5, 2019
Algae poisoning can cause great damage to the liver, kidney, and nervous system in humans who swallow affected water. It can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, angry skin rashes and other allergic reactions. Ingestion of toxic algae requires immediate medical attention.
How are dogs exposed to the toxin?
A report detailed how the researchers believed the dogs were exposed to the toxins:
- Inhalation - 13%
- Ingestion - 9%
- Skin contact plus ingestion (swimming, with swallowing water or licking fur) - 54%
- Unknown - 24%
City officials are now warning all pet owners in the area and this lake in downtown Austin is off-limits. Scientists are testing the water quality to see if it's the algae blooms causing illness and death in pets.
The preliminary results should be available in 2-4 days. You need to seek immediate medical attention for your pet if you think they ingested the water. It can cause loss of appetite, excessive drooling, severe vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and angry skin rashes. There will be signs placed by the city and they'll disclose more about the type of blue-green algae after they receive results back.
Have you seen these signs before at lakes you take your dog to? Please leave a comment below.