Image: Dog staying safe from algae

An algae that’s fatal to dogs is causing concerns in pet owners.

"They're everything to me, they're my best friends," said Peter Hafford.

He’s talking about his dogs Biff and Bow who were out enjoying the beautiful day on Monday.

Hafford and Lynda Dresser occasionally meet up at the dog park in Bay City with their pooches.

Most days the conversation is a positive one, but today they have concerns after hearing about an algae that’s deadly to dogs.

"I would be heartbroken if I were that family, that loss three [dogs] so quickly," Dresser said.

She’s referring to a woman in North Carolina that lost three dogs after they ingested Blue-Green Algae fron a pond.

The algae is usually found in warm-weather states and although rare, has been known to appear in Michigan.

Clio Veterinarian Daniel Deciechi said the algae has a distinctive look

"Floating green to blueish green sometimes can be brown sometimes red, sometimes even almost black,” he said. “[It’s] typically floating on top of stagnant water."

Veterinarians say that for about a 40-pound dog if they ingest just a cup full of blue-green algae, it can be fatal.

"The bacteria breaks down in the stomach and digestive acids and rapidly releases a lot of toxins," Deciechi said.

He said dogs can also ingest the toxins by licking their fur that may have been exposed but quick action can be lifesaving.

"Wash the dog, step two is get them to a veterinary facility as quickly as you can once you see an onset of signs," Deciechi said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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