Toxic blue-green algae can poison your dog

The dangers of dogs swimming in ponds during hot summer months

Heartbroken pet owner Melissa Martin shared a heartbreaking post on Facebook telling how she and her friend Denise had brought their pups on a playdate only for the bad tragedy to unfold.

Upon arriving at the veterinary hospital, Izzy, also a Westie, had a seizure as well. It's her mission now, she says, to erect signs about toxic waters and warn pet owners about the blooms.

11Alive spoke with Dr. Mark Aubel, Analytical Chemist and President of Greenwater Laboratories, who recently conducted a study on toxic blue-green algae's affect on dogs.

'What started out as a fun night for them has ended in the biggest loss of our lives, ' Martin wrote.

By midnight Friday, all three dogs had died, she said.

A close-up shot of a blue-green algae bloom.

They contracted blue green algae poisoning and there was nothing they could do.

She said she didn't see any signs warning of toxic algae near the pond, which sits next to a popular walking trail. We are gutted. I wish I could do today over.

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The algae can be hard to fight because it will only be in the lakes for a week or two, sometime even just one day.

About 30 minutes later, while driving home, Morgan Fleming said: "We noticed her making weird noises and she threw up and pooped in the vehicle". A vet could not save them and diagnosed the algae as blooms of cyanobacteria.

Martin told CNN that she didn't notice the algae at first, but, as she learned from her veterinarian, what appeared to be debris from flowers was actually blooms of cyanobacteria.

Algal blooms tend to thrive in high temperatures and after heavy rains carry fertilizer runoff and sewage into waterways.

Toxic algae often stink, sometimes producing a downright nauseating smell, yet animals may be attracted to the smell and taste of them, according to the EPA.

Martin and Mintz go on to promise in the post that they would begin an initiative to set signs up near bodies of water that are contaminated with the deathly algae, and have created a GoFundMe page to raise money to do so.

Dogs are especially vulnerable to exposre because they will continue to drink and play in water even if it looks dirty, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says on its website.

Owners are going to want to look out for green colored water because that is a telling sign the water might be risky to pets.

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