Dog owner shares heartbreaking warning after pup dies within minutes of going for swim
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James Brady and Patricia Gora found their dog Maple 'convulsing' and 'foaming at the mouth' after entering the water during a morning walk at Anton Lakes.
The pup tragically died just half an hour later.
"She must have ingested something," said James.
"At first she was fine, then as we continued the walk I was ahead with Misty and I heard Patricia shouting that something was wrong with Maple."
Patricia added: "She looked at me and her eyes were rolling and her whole body started shaking. She was trying to find her balance but she couldn’t."
James explained how Maple seemed to be getting worse, with her heartbeat becoming faint.
"We weren’t prepared but, at that stage, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway... It was so fast," he said.
"I could almost see the life go from her eyes. It was horrendous. Watching it all happen before our eyes was just a nightmare.
"It took 28 minutes from her going into the water to dying."
The couple rushed Maple to their nearest vets, but despite giving her adrenaline and trying to assist her breathing, the vet was unable to save Maple, explaining she had likely died due to a toxin in the water.
Maple's death comes just months after another couple - Jordan Shearman and Hannah Washington - lost their one-year-old Cocker Spaniel puppy, Roo.
Roo's death prompted an investigation into the presence of a blue-green algae at the beauty spot.
Tests showed the water was below the level of potential risk, however James says he was totally unaware of the investigation, adding that he had not seen signs, which had reportedly been erected at a different entrance.
"I went back two or three hours later, and I saw one sign at one entrance. It was literally a 50/50 chance and we made the wrong choice. There should be signs around the entire lake," he said.
"There is obviously something going on with the lake. They might think everyone knows, but that doesn’t account for people like us, travelling into Andover."
Test Valley Borough Council has since taken more water samples from the lake.
A spokesperson for the council said: "We have installed temporary notices [since the weekend] advising people not to swim in the lake or allow their dogs to drink or play in the water on a precautionary basis.
"We understand people will be concerned as another dog passed away several months ago after a visit to the lakes.
"Blue-green algae occurs naturally and there are commonly low levels present in ponds, streams, lakes and estuaries throughout the UK.
"It therefore remains important to note that there will always be some level of risk with any pet or person swimming in a natural body of water, particularly in hot and sunny weather.
"The loss of any pet is devastating and our thoughts are with Maple’s owners."