Officials Warning Pet Owners After Toxic Algae Bloom Found at Rathbun Lake

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In Wilmington, North Carolina, three dogs died after frolicking in a pond, while another succumbed after a swim in Lake Allatoona, Georgia.

All three dogs began to seize and rapidly decline by the time they made it to the veterinary hospital. Not long after, Izzy and Harpo both began experiencing seizures, with the latter also showing signs of liver failure.

Business owner Wendy Reavis, who used Harpo as a therapy dog, wept as she wrote about the canine's death Sunday night. Cyanobacteria blooms are usually blue-green in color.

All three dogs were dead by midnight on Friday.

A close-up shot of a blue-green algae bloom. In a series of heartbreaking posts on Facebook, she detailed how an afternoon of fun turned tragic.

Letting your dog take a dip in a lake or pond on a hot day is one of the joys of summer.

Martin's veterinarian said that the blue-green algae was the cause of death, as per CNN.

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Martin says she hopes officials will put up warning signs in the area to prevent future tragedy. Here's everything you need to know about the blue-green algae bloom, how to avoid it, how to treat a possible poisoning, and more.

On top of that, it can be hard to detect where algae blooms have formed.

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.

Algal blooms tend to thrive in high temperatures and after heavy rains carry fertilizer runoff and sewage into waterways. "In an effort to raise awareness about blue-green algae that claimed the lives of 3 sweet pups we want to get signs in front of all contaminated water so that this horrific incident doesn't happen to any other pet", Martin wrote on the fundraising page.

The agency recommends keeping children and pets away from waters that appear discolored or scummy and not touching large accumulations of algae. Drinking from a body of water where blue-green algae lurks or licking it off fur can kill a dog within 15 minutes of exposure, according to Blue Cross for Pets, a United Kingdom animal charity.

The best way someone can help their dog is to look before getting in the water or give their dog a bath afterwards to help decrease the risk.

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