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Officials Ring the Alarm Bell After Wave of Dog Deaths Sweeps Nation

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If your dog loves a nice swim in the cool waters of lakes and rivers, this is a warning for you: There’s a danger in the water that could shut down a dog’s body before it even has a chance to dry off.

Officials are sounding the alarm about toxic blue-green algae after a wave of dog deaths devastated pet owners across the nation this summer.

According to Heavy, the first dogs known to have succumbed to the toxins this summer were infected in a Texas lake.

Parts of Austin’s Lady Bird Lake were closed after three dogs died to poisons produced by the algae.

A Facebook post from one of the dog owners reveals the terrible trauma that watching your own pet die can cause.

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The fact that it only took roughly an hour after the dog exited the lake for it die makes it all the more horrifying.

Texas isn’t the only state with the frightening toxin-producing organisms, either. Reports soon began to come in from other southern states like North Carolina and Georgia.

In warm areas, blue-green algae populations can explode in a shockingly short amount of time.

Should officials take action to address cyanobacteria blooms?

Northern areas aren’t always safer, with more cases of dogs dying to the lethal poison cropping up in Oregon, Maine and Minnesota — thus proving the blue-green algae aren’t bound by state lines.

The blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are serious business. The Centers for Disease Control issued a fact sheet topped with a no-nonsense “when in doubt, it’s best to keep out!”

According to the CDC, the organisms produce some of the “most powerful natural poisons known.” There are no countermeasures against the poison once it’s in a body.

Drinking contaminated water or even coming into contact with it could put swimmers and pets at risk.

In high enough levels, the toxins are even lethal to humans.

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Cyanobacteria quickly spreads in warm, slow-moving water.

Proximity to contamination sources like farms and ranches can increase the risk of an algae bloom.

A telltale sign of the deadly organisms’ presence is the smell of rotting vegetation and the presence of scum or foam on the shore.

To avoid poisoning, the CDC recommends avoiding entering water in areas “where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water’s surface.”

If you do come into contact with water thought to be contaminated, you should quickly rinse off with soap and water.

Blooms of cyanobacteria can quickly turn a peaceful day at the lake into a nightmare. By staying vigilant and coming prepared, a devastating loss can be avoided.

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Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard and is a husband, dad and aspiring farmer.
Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He is a husband, dad, and aspiring farmer. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard. If he's not with his wife and son, then he's either shooting guns or working on his motorcycle.
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