A family in Wilmington, North Carolina took their three dogs to play in a nearby pond Thursday night. A few hours later, all three dogs were dead.

Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz had two West Highland terriers, and a bigger mixed-breed dog.

After playing in the water, the dogs were at home when one of the Westies started acting strange. They took the dog to an emergency clinic. Shortly afterwards, the other two dogs were in the emergency clinic and were seizing and showing signs of liver failure.

All three dogs died just after midnight on Friday.

This is the fb post from Melissa Martin's page:

At 12:08 AM, our dogs crossed the rainbow bridge together. They contracted blue green algae poisoning and there was nothing they could do. We are gutted. I wish I could do today over. I would give anything to have one more day with them. Harpo and I had work to do, but now we will carry on in his memory and we will make sure every standing body of water has a warning sign.

I was working on our book and planned for us to meet Robin Roberts and Ellen Degeneres and hear how awesome he is. He won’t get the chance to be a part of that, but I will make sure this book is finished.

Abby and Izzy had the most fun tonight chasing the ball and each other and rolling in the mud. What started out as a fun night for them has ended in the biggest loss of our lives. We need your prayers. Not sure we’re strong enough to get through this without them.

We are now on a mission to put signs at every body of water that can have this deadly bacteria. If you’d like to be part of our initiative:

I have never heard of blue-green algae and have been trying to find out more. According to Blue Cross for Pets, the term is used to describe a group of bacteria not visible to the naked eye unless clumped together.

The website says the blooms are most common in non-flowing fresh water including lakes or ponds, and is more common during hot weather when there is less rain.

According to the website, the algae blooms can produce harmful toxins which stop a dog’s liver from functioning properly. Exposure to this toxic algae is often fatal, as it was for these three dogs.

Dogs can be exposed to the bacteria by drinking it directly or indirectly, like when they lick their paws after being around the bacteria.

For more information on the algae, including signs and symptoms to watch for, check out the Blue Cross for Pets website here.

I also found this informative article from CNN here.

Source: NBC10 and CNN

photo credit - facebook post

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