One dog has died and another has taken ill from symptoms consistent with blue-algae poisoning after swimming in Red Rock Lake, near Alexandria, Minnesota.
The deceased dog, 10-month-old Captain, was playing fetch at his family’s cabin on Red Rock Lake when he suddenly became ill immediately after walking out of the water, reports FOX 9.
“He immediately vomited and eyes rolled back in his head, and started foaming at the mouth,” Captain’s owner, Dawn Stillers, said. “He started having seizures, just flopping like a fish out of water.”
Captain was rushed to the nearest veterinarian but never made it—he died during the 10-minute drive.
“Absolutely perfect, healthy dog. Not one issue,” Stillers said. “Wonderful specimen of a dog, and now he's gone. It hurts.”
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office released a statement to their Facebook page regarding the incident:
“On Thursday, June 4th, 2015[,] the Douglas County Sheriff's Office Water Patrol received a report of a dog becoming very ill and a second dog becoming ill and later dying after swimming in Red Rock Lake. The symptoms described were consistent with Blue Algae poisoning.
“In discussions with the local DNR Conservation Officer, it appears that due to the recent weather conditions, heavy rainfall runoff and warm, humid temperatures, Red Rock Lake has supported an early bloom of Blue Algae … There are visible areas of floating mold and blue-green colored algae on areas of Red Rock Lake,” the statement read.
The sheriff’s department has urged those who frequent Red Rock Lake to take the necessary precautions.
“Property owners and other persons using Red Rock Lake are strongly encouraged to take any measures to prevent animals and children from having any exposure with, inhalation, or ingesting water suspected of being contaminated with Blue Algae,” the statement continued.
Symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning may include headaches, nausea, fever, sore throat, dizziness, stomach cramps, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, muscle aches, mouth ulcers, and lip blistering.
A high level of exposure to blue-green algae may result in serious illness or death for people and animals, reports the California Department of Public Health.
Photo Credit: FOX 9