Toxic algae poisoning kills dog that swam in Texas river, owner says

A dog has died from toxic algae poisoning after swimming in Texas' Guadalupe River, a pet owner says.

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According to KENS-TV, Tamra Massey said her dog, Fina, fell ill shortly after the toy Australian shepherd played in the water near their Boerne home.

"We were at the river by our house, and one of the spots she was in was a 'cut' off of a little peninsula," Massey wrote in an Aug. 7 Facebook post. "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)."

>> Read Massey's Facebook post here

***Toxic Blue-Green Algae*** *This was on the Guadalupe*PLEASE READ...and SHAREI am posting this so I can, hopefully,...

Posted by Tamra Massey on Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Massey added that the water did not seem stagnant or "infested" with blue-green algae. "There were simply a few pieces of the algae floating around," she said.

But the outing soon took a dark turn. Within 15 minutes, Fina began to have seizures, Massey told KENS. Massey rushed Fina to the vet's office, where the dog died from toxic algae poisoning, she said.

"Fina probably ate some, as she loved biting at leaves and things floating by in the water," Massey wrote in her Facebook post. "But even if she would have simply gotten some on her fur and then groomed herself, the outcome would likely have been the same."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ingesting harmful algal blooms, which "can occur in warm fresh, marine or brackish waters with abundant nutrients," can cause illnesses in animals and people. The agency recommends avoiding a body of water if you see any algal bloom.

"If you or your pets do go in water that has an algal bloom, wash yourself or your pets off immediately afterward with tap water," the CDC website says. "Do not let your pets lick their fur until you wash them off with tap water."

Three dogs in North Carolina and one in Georgia also recently died from exposure to toxic algae, according to news reports.

After Fina died, Massey alerted the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which determined that the water was safe, Massey wrote. However, a representative from the agency pointed out pieces of algae to avoid, she said.

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