There have been more than a few articles lately about people taking their dogs for a swim in a pond or lake, and the dog later dying!! Apparently, it is happening from exposure to certain toxic algae that thrive in Summer.
As per usual I wrote to Dr. Corrie from Akron Animal Hospital to get some more info on how to keep your pets safe.
Blue-green algae is very common in this area as the summer progresses and the water temperature increases. Dog can be exposed by drinking, swimming or wading in contaminated water. They ingest it by licking what is on their coat as well. The blue green algae contains microcystin, a liver toxin produced by a cyanobacteria. According to the EPA 1 in 3 lakes harbors hazardous levels of cyanobacteria. Widespread use of fertilizers spark the harmful algal blooms. Treatment by washing the algae off and Cholestyramine may help an affected dog.
Condensed from The Scientist “Dogs Worst Friend” by Nsikan Akpan 5/1/14
Akron Animal Hospital