Home ireland Warning for pet owners after deaths of dogs swimming in stagnant water

Warning for pet owners after deaths of dogs swimming in stagnant water

Warning for pet owners after deaths of dogs swimming in stagnant water

A vet is warning pet owners to keep animals away from lakes or ponds with stagnant water following the deaths of a number of dogs who had been swimming in a lake on the border of counties Leitrim and Fermanagh.

Aoife Ferris of Lakeland Veterinary Services in Belleek, Co Fermanagh, told RTÉ radio that her practice had dealt with a number of cases recently where animals had died after swimming in a nearby lake – Lough Melvin.

“We’ve been seeing a couple of cases of dogs that have been swimming or have been playing along the shores of one of the lakes nearby,” she told the News at One.

“Immediately, after they’ve come out of the water, some of them have started to present with signs such as drooling from their mouth, frothing at their mouth, seizures. And ultimately, unfortunately, these dogs have passed away pretty quickly after being down there.

“We do see these kinds of cases after periods of very hot weather. So we would encourage all dog owners, not just around here, to keep their pets away from any lakes or ponds where there is stagnant water.”

While there was an investigation underway, including water sampling, Ms Ferris said that all the clinical signs indicated that the deaths had been caused by an algae in the water.


Council says good weather having impact as Dublin…

Read More

“It is an algae called blue-green algae. And it is very, very toxic to pets. They don’t necessarily have to ingest the water. It can be something as simple as having a little bit of this on their paws and licking their paws afterwards. It can cause acute organ failure.”

The vet added that unless the animals were treated immediately, in most cases they died. “Usually it works on the body very fast. It’s very, very toxic. So it’s really important for pet owners to be aware of this.”

The algae can appear in the form of scum on top of the water, it can also be brown in colour and can be present in foam that appears on the shoreline and can have an earthy or musty smell.

Potentially the algae could also be harmful to humans, she said. “From the research that we have done over the last number of days, we can see that it can cause illness in humans. So it would be important for people to maybe avoid swimming in those areas as well.”