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Two pet owners have issued a desperate warning after their dog died shortly after playing in a lake.
Hannah Washington, 23, and Jordan Shearman, 24, were distraught when their cocker spaniel puppy suddenly collapsed and died after the trip to Anton Lakes, Andover - where their pup was happily frolicking just hours prior.
The couple took pictures and videos of the one-year-old pup, Roo, at the lake, but shortly after the otherwise healthy pet began foaming at the mouth and suffering from seizures.
The pair rushed Roo to a nearby veterinarian, but despite seeking the expert help, he sadly died later on that day.
The water from the lake is since being tested as Hannah and Jordan worry that Roo was poisoned by blue-green algae, which are harmful to humans and animals as they can produce dangerous toxins.
The couple are now warning other pet owners of the risks of allowing their pets to play in lakes following the tragic ordeal.
Jordan told how he noticed the lake, which was a usual spot for the family to go to, was ‘incredibly dirty, much more so than normal’ and opted to remove their puppy from ‘those areas’.
"The walk was going fine, and we spent quite some time playing together in some of the cleaner areas of the lakes, and Roo was fine in himself.
"The only thing we started to notice at the end of the walk was that his eyes became a little droopy and his third eyelid began to show. We figured he had gotten too much water in his eyes so we decided to end the walk and return to the car."
However, when they got home they realised that something was wrong.
"Roo was extremely agitated and struggling to stand up, so I took him into the front with me in the passenger seat while my partner rushed to Strathmore Veterinary clinic.
"While in my arms Roo began to have fits, struggling to breathe, foaming at the mouth. It was the worst experience of my life having to hold him, speaking to him, telling him mummy and daddy loved him."
The vet supported Roo to breathe, administering antidote injections in an attempt to counteract the poisonous substances that the couple feared he may have swallowed.
Despite the puppy’s vitals stabilising, his heart stopped beating and he sadly died around 7:00pm on Saturday.
"Our worst nightmare had happened - our precious, young, baby Roo had lost his life, so suddenly,” Jordan said.
"He was everything in our lives, quite literally. Our lives, our habits, our plans, revolved around our lovely pup, and so I can't even begin to describe the pain we are in."
The pair are also urging the local council to check for blue-green algae in the lake, as well as other poisonous substances that could have endangered their beloved dog.
Will, vet director at Birmingham Dogs Home has told Tyla that blue-green algae 'are found in fresh, blackish and marine water bodies throughout the UK.'
"Only some species produce toxic compounds – but these are highly toxic with exposure often resulting in fatality. Scums at the edge of water bodies may present a toxic or lethal dose in a very small volume.
"Symptoms depend on the species ingested and may vary from no symptoms at all through to sudden death – gastrointestinal upset (bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain), tremors, slow heart rate, rapid breathing, uncoordinated movements, convulsions, coma are all possible."
Although treatment from a vet is an option, unfortunately the outlook is "poor" if symptoms do develop.
Will advises that pet owners don't allow their dogs to go into "any body of water that may be seen as a blue-green algae risk, especially during warmer months and if the water is in slow moving pools and stagnant ponds where blooms may more easily form".
"Whilst tempting to allow a pet to cool off, these pools pose a serious health risk, not just from blue green algae but from diseases such as Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease) and injury caused from submerged underwater hazards. It is far better to cool off your dog at home – in the garden with a hose or a small paddling pool," he said.
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