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Dog Owner Issues Warning As Pet ‘Moments From Death’ After Swimming In Pond

Dog Owner Issues Warning As Pet ‘Moments From Death’ After Swimming In Pond

Many dog owners will happily let their pooches cool off in a pond if they're out on walkies.

But one man has now issued an urgent warning to other pet owners, revealing his pup was left "moments from death," after swimming in water filled with lethal blue green algae.

Learn more about it below:

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Blue green algae - or cyanobacteria - are miniature organisms often found in ponds, slow running rivers, reservoirs or freshwater lakes.

The algae blossoms on the surface of the water in hot weather, creating a green, blue green or brown coloured scum or foam, which, in some cases, can be highly toxic to dogs, cats, horses, birds, cows and even humans.

The most common signs of blue green algae poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, disorientation/weakness, breathing difficulties, drooling, seizures, blood in stools, and, if severe, liver damage, a coma and even death.

Unfortunately, it's impossible to tell which blue green algae blooms are toxic and which aren't without lab analysis - hence why being careful around all similar looking algae is so important.

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Always check the water before allowing your pet to swim (Credit: Pexels)
Always check the water before allowing your pet to swim (Credit: Pexels)

Russell, 56, had taken Tala and sister Harli for a walk on farmland near their rural home in Dunham-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, when his four-year-old pup Tala came in contact with the algae.

Luckily, little Tala has now recovered after aid from vets in Lincoln, but he says there was a moment where he thought he was going to have to say his goodbyes.

He recalled: "There's a beck and a pond and they were playing happily in and around the water for about an hour.

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"I noticed Tala squinting and then she started staggering as if her balance had gone. It was such a shock and when I got her home and she couldn't get out of the car, I really started to panic.

"I called my vet and, as it was the evening, I was referred to Vets Now and was told to bring her straight in. By the time I went back to the car she was running at the mouth and she was totally unresponsive.

Tala (left) and her sister Harli (Credit: Vets Now)
Tala (left) and her sister Harli (Credit: Vets Now)

"It was a real emergency run to get help just as quickly as I could."

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Vets Now nurse Alana Taylor explained: "She was in a very bad way. She wasn't responding to stimulation and her pupils were dilated.

"We did a radiograph to check her chest was clear as it was thought she may have inhaled water, but we suspected it was blue green algae toxicity due to the quick onset of signs."

While Russell waited in the car due to Covid-19 safety restrictions, Tala was given an injection to make her sick and bring up the algae, and was put on oxygen and intravenous fluids.

"She was close to having to be put to sleep when, somehow, she suddenly turned a corner," said Alana.

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"Her demeanour changed after about three hours and she became aware of her surroundings and wagged her tail when we spoke to her."

Russell reflected: "I expected to be getting a phone call telling me she'd died," said Russell. "It really was touch and go and it was unbelievable that she came through it.

Russell feared the worst for his pooch (Credit: Vets Now)
Russell feared the worst for his pooch (Credit: Vets Now)

"I always thought she was such a laid-back dog who just liked to sleep but she proved me wrong. She obviously has something deep inside her and is a real fighter."

Russell hadn't been aware of the algae dangers in the water and is now warning other owners to be extra vigilant.

"I'd definitely advise people to keep their eyes on their dog at all times when near water and take bottled water rather than let them drink from a stagnant pond," he concluded.

"And don't delay if you see any signs. If I hadn't had the car with me, it could all have been over by the time I got her home. We were really lucky."

We're so glad little Tala pulled through!

Featured Image Credit: Vets Now

Topics: Dog, Life News, News, Animals

Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]

 

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