View Full Version : Blue Green Algae Toxicity
This came through the flyball board and I thought it was pretty important to cross post here. We do have this type of algae in California. Here is the link for the State of California.
It is with a very heavy heart that I write this and I apologize for its
length. Please, PLEASE pass this around.
On Monday, June 25, 2007 I took my healthy 9 month old Border Collie Vita
swimming at approximately 6:30 p.m. Vita and two other BC's spent about an
and a half diving off the dock, chasing the Water Kong, and running around.
The temperature that day was just over 90 degrees, but none of the dogs
particularly winded or hot.
Vita emerged from the water and looked as if she was going to vomit. She
threw up lake water three times. I wasn't particularly concerned as she
a lot of water from retrieving and swimming so much and had seen other dogs
that in the past without complications.
After the third time throwing up, she lay down and closed her eyes. Her
tongue was hanging out of her mouth and I began to suspect she may have heat
stroke. I immediately placed ice on her stomach and checked her gums. They
pink. I took her temperature which was 101.9, still normal. I then called
Vet who said these conditions did not indicate heat stroke and said I needed
to get emergency medical attention right away.
Vita was not responsive and when I picked her up to put her in the car she
was limp and her eyes were still closed. Her breathing was slow and her
was racing. I arrived at the emergency clinic only a half hour from the
she showed signs of distress. The ER Vet asked me what sorts of things Vita
had been doing all day. I explained that she was crated as I was gone for
latter part of the afternoon and that upon coming home, the only other place
she went was to the lake.
Vita's eyes were fixed and dilated and the Vet suggested there was already
brain damage. After administering an IV and oxygen, the Vet called me in
said Vita was not responding and that it appeared that she was suffering
some kind of toxic poisoning. Her heart rate was 200. He mentioned that he
recently seen a couple of dogs who died from Blue Green Algae Toxicity. I
told him that the lake had what appeared to be algae blooms on the surface
the water. Neither of the other two dogs showed any of the signs that Vita
and that neither dog took in as much water as Vita apparently did. We
to put her on a ventilator overnight and give her a "chance" to pull
When I got home I did a Dogpile.com search of "Blue Green Algae Toxicity in
Dogs" and found some very disturbing information.
-Blooms can occur at any time, but most often occur in late summer or early
fall. They can occur in marine, estuarine, and fresh waters, but the blooms
greatest concern are the ones that occur in fresh water, such as drinking
water reservoirs or recreational waters.
-Some cyanobacterial blooms can look like foam, scum, or mats on the surface
of fresh water lakes and ponds. The blooms can be blue, bright green, brown,
or red and may look like paint floating on the water. Some blooms may not
affect the appearance of the water. As algae in a cyanobacterial bloom die,
water may smell bad.
-Some cyanobacteria that can form CyanoHABs (Harmful Algal Blooms) produce
toxins that are among the most powerful natural poisons known. These toxins
no known antidotes.
-Swallowing water that has cyanobacterial toxins in it can cause acute,
severe gastroenteritis (including diarrhea and vomiting).
-Liver toxicity (i.e., increased serum levels of liver enzymes). Symptoms of
liver poisoning may takes hours or days to show up in people or animals.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
-Neurotoxicity. These symptoms can appear within 15 to 20 minutes after
exposure. In dogs, the neurotoxins can cause salivation and other neurologic
symptoms, including weakness, staggering, difficulty breathing, convulsions,
death. People may have numb lips, tingling fingers and toes, or they may
Vita had indeed exhibited salivation and signs of weakness, staggering,
difficulty breathing and vomiting.
At 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 I called the Vet and was told that
they took Vita off the ventilator a couple of times during the night and
was not breathing on her own. I told him to discontinue the procedure and
let her go.
I called the DNR here in Michigan and was told that Blue Green Algae didn't
usually appear this time of year and I told the agent that the conditions
that of late summer in Michigan, very hot for the last two days and reminded
him that Blue Green Algae can appear at any time. He told me not to panic
to alarm other people. I told him that had someone else panicked, we
be having this conversation right now.
Later that morning I found out from a neighbor that her two young boys had
vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps last week and her Doctor suggested she
bring in a water sample. I do not know if she did or not.
I also talked to a woman from a neighboring county whose neighbor's dog
ingested a lot of water from a pond and died suddenly a couple weeks ago.
As of this writing, Wednesday, June 27th, I have not heard anything from
Michigan State where I took Vita for a necropsy and toxoligical panel.
For the time being, I would strongly suggest you watch your dogs when
swimming in small lakes and ponds as the potential threat of toxic poisoning
Blue Green Algae is prevalent. Had I known that algae of any kind was
can be sure my dogs wouldn't be swimming anywhere and that Vita, whose name
quite ironically meant "life" in Latin, would be alive today.
Missing you more than you can imagine.
May you rest in peace, Red Top Vita
09/05/06 - 06/26/07
5997 Mabley Hill Road
Fenton, Michigan 48430
PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST
06-27-2007, 02:31 PM
My heart goes out to you. In March of 2005 while my husband finished jumping our precious lab, Cash. Cash spewed out diarrhea and went into grand mal seizures. He ended up blind and brain dead after 4 days of intensive care and with reluctance and heartache we put him down. It wasn't until months after I learned of this algae and then took a sample to UC Davis for testing. The test came back normal, but as you have said it can happen at anytime.
Thank you for your post and our hearts are with you now in this horrible tragedy. May God Bless You and your family.
Sandra & Jim
06-27-2007, 03:20 PM
Thank you for this post. And just in time, too. I was thinking of taking Tessa to Big Bear Lake and I did a Google of 'Big Bear Lake' and 'blue green algae', and sure enough, the lake is full of it.
I read through some of the links to WHO and found it's a little more difficult for the algae to gather in the ocean because of the current, so there is less of a threat when you take them to the beach. But, we have had 'algae blooms' off the coast of California, which produces domoic acid. This has been driving the sea lions and seals really crazy, quite literally. Sea lions have exhibited aggressive behavior, or have been beaching themselves. Others have died. [for more on domoic acid, see http://www.cimwi.org/stranded_domoic.html]
Now, that got me to thinking . . . does the domoic acid have an effect on dogs that swim in the ocean? I came across this from the CA Department of Health Services:
This is the sentence that is particularly chilling:
"Dogs, cats, birds and other household pets are also susceptible to domoic acid poisoning and should not be fed these products [shellfish harvested from five Southern California Beaches]."
I put in a call to Sacramento to find out if they have any data on dogs sickened by domoic acid by swimming in the ocean. When they get back to me, I'll be sure to post what I find out.
Now, this is particularly troublesome because the last time we took Tessa to the beach, she came down with a respiratory infection. I know dogs have problems when they drink too much salt water [vomiting, diarrhea, possible dehydration, etc.], but Tessa had problems breathing. I don't know if this is related, but it's worth finding out.
You can actually go to www.google.com and before searching up in the left corner, click on images and then search Blue Green Algae Toxicity. It has several very descriptive pictures. We let our dogs swim in the farming canal behind our home and while this does not carry any toxins when the farmers filter it through to their secondary canal and then to the crops on the top layer is this toxin. We have taught our dogs not to go anywhere near the secondary canal just because of what it looked like, little did I know what it actually was.
06-28-2007, 12:08 PM
That is a horrifying story. I am so sorry for your loss and I truly appreciate that you took the time to pass on the information to the rest of us.
I only live about a block from the beach in Southern California. And yet, I drive 120 miles round trip from my house down to Fiesta Island in San Diego whenever I want to take my dog, Chase, to the beach and into the ocean water, because the water in front of my house is so polluted. I thought I was protecting him by doing that, but after hearing your story, I am no longer so sure. Fiesta Island is in Mission Bay, so there are no waves to circulate the water as there are in the open ocean. In addition, there is a lot of grass growing up from the ocean floor where Chase swims.
Linda emailed me the other day about Tessa getting sick after going in the ocean and I told her I thought it was the pollution. I was referring to all the bacteria. Apparently this blue green algae could also be the culprit.
I doubt that any real interest or effort will be taken to test the lakes and oceans in California for the blue green algae in order to PROTECT PETS, since at the present moment the powers that be are very close to passing a law mandating the neutering of ALL dogs by 4 months of age, unless you have a special and apparently difficult to obtain breeders license. If people obey the law, it will end up wiping out all mixed breed dogs as well as most of the pure breed dog population in the state within a few years. So, those of us in California REALLY APPRECIATE and will very much RELY on those of you OUTSIDE OF CALIFORNIA to keeping us informed and abreast of any newly discovered dangers to our dogs.
Thank you very much for that. And again, Bob, my deepest sympathy goes out to you.
Brooke & Chase
06-28-2007, 12:23 PM
Were you able to find any information on blue-green algae on Fiesta Island? I tried to google it, and got some hard-to-decipher information on San Diego Bay. Let us know what you find.
Have not heard back yet from Sacramento. I will keep you updated.
06-28-2007, 12:39 PM
No, I have not been able to find any information on the internet about the algae yet for any San Diego beaches.
I use www.healthebay.com to tell check the beach report water quality whenever I go surfing at San Onofre and it says that Fiesta Island, as well as most of San Diego, get "A" grades. But, after reading this information on the message board today, it made me wonder about all that grass. It is like a marsh with grass and mud on the ocean floor. Very much like silt. The water is very still where I go on Fiesta Island, so I am very concerned about returning now. Too bad because Chase loved it there and swam for hours.
Dog Beach at Ocean Beach in San Diego is on the open water and also usually gets "A" ratings. I have not gone there yet. I asssume it does not have the grass and mud silty bottom since the water movement is much higher with waves. But, Tessa was in the ocean with waves and water movement and she got sick.
Do any of you from San Diego know anything about the water around Fiesta Island or Dog Beach? And what's the deal with the grass growing in the water at Fiesta? Mellissa? Brian? Lisa? Mark?
06-28-2007, 01:02 PM
I have been taking the dogs swimming to Fiesta Island for the past seven years and have never had a problem with them swimming in that water and I am there almost daily. It is a highly active area for speed boats, jet skis, and and para-surfing. Which keeps the water from sitting still. Fiesta island, I believe has nothing to worry about. Grass grows underwater and has nothing to with algea blooms nor does the sut that sits at the bottom. I have lost a few pairs of flip flops in that nasty stuff but the dogs love it and i will continue to use it as long it is dog friendly so Brooke get that dog down here and enjoy a good time.
06-28-2007, 01:24 PM
Your dog, Maximus, got brochitus in January when we were at the San Diego Boat Show. Could that have been caused by something in the ocean?
By the way, where on Fiesta Island do you take your dogs? Which section of the beach? There are a few places that they allow dogs and people to swim in the water. And then others areas are for boats only. I was considering going to one of the other Fiesta Island beaches where the water moves around a lot more than the cove I go to try to avoid any algae or other pollution issues. Which do you like the best?
I take Chase to the far end of that cove that has that water skiing dock. When the ski boats come through, I take him out of the water. The water is pretty still, but aside from the sharp shells and rocks that cut up my feet a lot and the bottom of his paws a little bit, he has a blast. We swim in the water together. He loves it. And so do I.
Thanks for the info. Protecting our puppies is a lot of work, but worth every second of it.
06-28-2007, 02:53 PM
Maximus aspirated water at the Chula Vista pool and caught an upper respiratory infection. I normally don't take the dogs swimming too much in the winter time. Maximus doesn't really care to swim really anymore unless he is jumping so he does a few retrieves and than plays with his tire on the beach while Mia enjoys the swimming.
Hi everyone... it's Karla Stuart.
I was checking this site to see about the Wags schedule and read this post. My heart goes out to Bob and his family.
I used to work for the EPA at the Water Quality Control Board in San Diego. I used to investigate water polluters (mainly from Sewage spills) into all the waterways of San Diego County. There is a lot of data available from all around the bay because Sea World is required to have extensive tests performed etc. I will look into the Blue Green Algae problem or ask some of the scientist I used to work with and try to find some answers for you regarding this with specifics to Fiesta Island. Mark takes Hogan to Fiesta a lot and we haven't had an problems (but wouldn't want to find out the hard way). If I find out anything I'll let you know.
Hope to see you all next week...I can't wait to see my little Friar run around the Lure Course again. Fun Fun!
06-28-2007, 07:28 PM
Stanley and I visit Fiesta Island a few times each week and have never had any problems other than “you know what” from too much salt water. It appears the blooms happen more around still water than waters with tidal influence, with that said I would still consider Fiesta Island a safe place to swim. We should all meet sometime at Fiesta Island, drop me a note whenever you guys are making the trip. Coronado dog beach is another great ocean swim for the dogs.
06-28-2007, 09:37 PM
OMG this is terrible...I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for letting everyone know about the blue algae.
Sadie and I usually go to Long Beach every weekend and we have encountered "red tide" quite often. When Sadie was about a year old she swam in it and ended up getting really sick from it.
Now when we go and I see the water has that red tint and the smell (it's terrible) she only gets to go in for maybe 15 minutes...so far no problems...if it's really bad then no way will I let her go in.
Cindy & Sadie
06-29-2007, 10:20 AM
Karla: Thank you so much for looking in to this for us. I completely forgot about Sea World being directly across from Fiesta Island. I assume they do use the same water source for some of their pools. Anything you can find out would be greatly appreciated.
Bob: I again want to thank you for sharing your painful story with all of us. By doing so, you have made us all aware of some of the hidden toxicities that are staring us in the face. I say hidden because humans do not swallow water when they go into lakes, ponds, and oceans. So, the water could have this issue, but no one realizes it, because few humans will get sick. But dogs swallow water because WE THROW BALLS into the water and they RETRIEVE them for us, swimming around with their mouths wide open. So, we are inadvertantly putting them at risk. As a result of your thoughtfullness to share your information, our dogs will now be safer. Even if none of the areas that we take our dogs actually end up having this problem, it has opened my eyes even wider.
Brooke & Chase
06-29-2007, 10:24 AM
It's Long Beach where we took Tessa and she got her respiratory infection. When do you go? We've been going every Saturday for the last month. Would love to run into you!
I'm on the phone with the state right now. Will post soon.
06-29-2007, 10:55 AM
Just got off the phone with a veterinarian with the California Department of Health Services and asked him about whether dogs can get sick from swimming in the water where an algae bloom is occurring. As I said before, the algae blooms we experience here off the Southern California coast produce domoic acid, which has been harmful and sometimes fatal to sea lions. It has also triggered a warning put out by the state prohibiting the harvesting of shellfish off the coast because the domoic acid contamination. A health services memo warns: "Dogs, cats, birds and other household pets are also susceptible to domoic acid poisoning and should not be fed these products."
The upshot from Dr. Benson is this:
DOGS BECOMING SICK FROM DOMOIC ACID POISONING BY SWIMMING IN AN OCEAN WHERE AN ALGAE BLOOM IS OCCURING IS RARE.
He says dogs can't drink enough water to become sick from domoic acid, the same as people. But, he did say dogs that ingest SHELLFOOD contaminated with domoic acid can get sick. And the physical effects depend on the size of the dog and how much contaminated shellfish was ingested. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, and in severe cases, neurologic dysfunction. But, again, that comes from ingesting contaminated shellfood.
Now, keep in mind, domoic acid is different from the blue-green algae. Dr. Benson says it is a completely different bacteria. What I pursued was the domoic acid angle. There is still a health warning about blue-green algae in lakes in Northern California, and other parts of the country.
I'm sorry if I alarmed anyone. But, I feel better knowing Tessa got a respiratory infection . . . because she simply got a respiratory infection, and not because of some health danger from the ocean.
06-29-2007, 09:35 PM
Then time varies when we are at Long Beach....depending on when we do therapy visits and her narcotics classes. We are there usually every weekend, maybe around 11:30 or so....I was going tomorrow but I have to work...We will probably be there this Sunday around 10 since she has narcotics class at 5:30.....We usually only stay an hour.
We are usually at the end closest to the Belmont pool.....it's less crowded there.
It would be great to meet up with you guys.....maybe I'll see you Sunday????
Cindy & Sadie
06-30-2007, 06:59 AM
I don't think the dogs were in any danger at the DDogs event in Stockton. The water didn't have a bad smell to it--it was just that murky color.
I do remember how sick you were at the event Bart (poor guy--I felt so bad that my sweetie that was sick)--but I don't think that being at the event or the pool water is what made you sick. I remember you thinking that you either had a touch of food-poisoning or something like a 24 hour flu bug. Granted you were very sick--but I don't think that the water DDogs put in the pool had much to do with you being sick.
It's unfortunate that water quality in some areas can make dogs sick and even cause their death--but why are you making an implied accusation against DDogs? Little Gunner took 1st in Big Air and 2nd in EV with me--maybe the water in the pool was a good thing? Or are you just stirring the pot? ;-) :-)
06-30-2007, 07:31 AM
Ohhhhhhhh.....well then that's a good thing! :-) ;-)
Asking the right QUESTIONS to get the true FACTS is always an important thing so that we can all make the best informed choices for the safety our dogs!
I would think that ALL the organizations are as careful as they can be regarding the water quality for our dogs safety. Perhaps the correct question to ask would be if ANY of the organizations do any water quality testing before the pool gets used and dogs are in the water?
06-30-2007, 08:16 AM
One of the purposes of these message boards is to bring public awareness for the safety of our dogs! I know that there are no organizations that would deliberatley put our dogs in jeopardy. However, it appears that the water at the Stockton event was probably not safe or potentially not safe. I know first hand from our experience with Cash that the blooms can be there one day and not the next. I personally took a sample of the water at Railhead Pond (prior to our first event in Auburn) to UC Davis for testing. Now not only is the test expensive but it takes 3-4 weeks to obtain the results. So basically it is useless to test unless you could test the day of the event and get immediate results...which is not possible. The symptoms are the same for humans as it is for the dogs. (i.e. GI symptoms) I am happy to see the awareness from this blue algae being brought forward.
06-30-2007, 09:39 AM
The blue-green algea is definately a significant problem to be aware of. I first became aware of the algea when I was fishing up in one of my favorite fishing spots....Eagle Lake. They get a significant algea bloom there and after some research I determined it was not in my or the pups best interest to let her swim.
Secondly, living in Discovery Bay has it's advantages....and with Algea...it's disadvantages. The blue-green algae thrives between the temperatures of 70 and 90 degrees. Slow moving shallow water tends to make the problem worst. So during the summer, when the tidal movement is minimal and the wind is silent, the potential of the blue-green algea is greater so we don't go in the water. On days where there is significant tidal change, or wind...the worry goes way down. However, there is always the potential when the water temps are optimum. So we don't tend to go in the water much during the summer and early fall.....the rest of the year I don't feel there is much risk due to the tide, wind and temperature influences.
Thirdly, since this is a major concern....folks need to evaluate each and every situation they put their pups in. Be it pheasant hunting, duck hunting, field trials or dock diving....our pups are always in and out of water. Many times the water quality is not known. Awareness and common sense are the keys! One of the places I pheasant hunt, Chloe would always come back with intestinal distress. We later found out that one of the ponds she loved to swim in there had "giardia" not sure of the spelling....so we don't go in that pond anymore.
Fourth....as for the Stockton event. The Stockton channel has been studied extensively for quite some time. They acutally spent a great deal of money putting in a bubbler system that sends columns of air through the water that basically aerates the water creating a less than optimum condition for the algae. Does that mean the water in the pool was perfect...not sure. Again it comes down to awareness. Most likely the water temps were not at optimum and there had been significant winds.....Likewise, what is the potential for jumping in any other spots on the delta? The Pittsburg events jump into that same water and ecosystem. Am I worried about Pittsburg...no...there seems to always be significant wind, greater tidal influence and more boat traffic which also mixes the water. But that is my perception and my perception is only based on my knowledge...and not on factual data of the water.
So I guess in summary to this long winded soap box.....People need to be informed so they can make their own decisions. The organizations need to be aware of the potential so that they can also make decisions on water quality and dog safety issues. We want our pets to be safe and protected....and bottom line that is each of our responsibilities. But, the best thing going is the information that we all share on all of the organizations boards to bring that awareness to higher levels.
No different is the "Chase Away K9 Cancer" fundraiser awareness. It is getting the word out. Well....the Blue-green Algae is also a huge issue. And thank you to everyone who is concerned enough to keep this out there as a hot topic!!!
Dave & Chloe!!!
06-30-2007, 09:48 AM
Here is a link that will email you warnings of the algae in Oregon.
06-30-2007, 05:42 PM
Well this definitely has a lot of us here in Michigan freaked out since this incident happened here. It's not an internet myth either, my flyball instructor knows the person who lost the dog. Other dogs in that area have died, and MSU has noted some others that have died, so it's a problem all over the state. Anna with Colby called the DNR and they said if you see any green scum on the water, don't let your dogs swim. So if it went from telling the person whose dog died there was no reason to panic to telling someone not to let their dog swim if they see anything floating, it must be a prevalent problem.
I had NO IDEA algae could be toxic!!!!! I feel incredibly guilty, in the past I have let my dogs swim in a pond in the local park where I have seen algae on the water. I thought it was gross and tried to take them to spots where the water was clear so the dogs didn't get gross but I had no idea it could endanger their lives!! I feel so awful I potentially put their lives in peril. Now I will probably be the other extreme and my dogs aren't swimming in anything around here. Maybe Lake Michigan, where the water is constantly in motion and I have never seen any algae.
As to water at events, all the UAD and Splashdog events I have been to and been around for set up, they have gotten the water from the local city water so I have never thought that was an issue, nor do I now as it's usually the same water people are drinking. I have never been at set up at a DD event so I don't know how they get their water, but I'd imagine the majority of the time it's also city water.
06-30-2007, 06:23 PM
This link is a picture of the water from the Stockton event. You will notice that the water is green:
Stanley looks so handsome with the trees reflecting off the pool. The first thing I did prior to throwing my dog into the pool was checkout the dock and water for safety issues. I noticed the water was very turbid and was informed that it was pumped from the local waters. Dave is correct on the conditions at Stockton, no way a bloom could establish itself during the weekend of the DD event. I highly doubt a human illness was a result of the water, besides the indicator species for an algae bloom would have been the dogs not humans. Bart, try a different taco shop the next time you pass thru Stockton.
06-30-2007, 06:58 PM
The Loch Ness Brown Clown rises from the green slime for an egg roll.
06-30-2007, 09:47 PM
This 38-page report will answer most questions concerning the dreaded blue green algae. Don’t let the science scare you away as this report contains useful information that may be helpful when you are in the field with your pets.
07-01-2007, 08:51 AM
STOP talking about ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOCH NESS BROWN Clown......
Leave the LOCH NESS alone.... ;O)
07-01-2007, 11:41 AM
To Bob so sorry on your loss and thanks for sending this important post out to
all of us and thanks to everyone on all the links I have been reading them all
to get a better idea on this keep up the good work stay safe and we well see
everyone soon Hershey Kiss
07-01-2007, 05:33 PM
The messsage boards are a great way to keep abreast of the upcoming events, etc, but they are exceedingly useful for us to share info that can protect our dogs' health. Thank you all for taking the time to do that.
I have a couple of questions:
1) Regarding Little Gunner stating that "DD's pumped this water into the pool that was used for the Stockton event?"
Are you saying that the water was pumped directly from the river into the pool? Are you saying that the water did NOT come out of a hose from either City regular drinkable water or by City treated water? I am SHOCKED by that. Is this done anywhere else, because I have always assumed that the water was drinkable water from a City water hose bib. Can anyone CLARIFY this for me.
2) Regarding Linda and her discussion with the veterinarian. The vet says " dogs can't drink enough water to become sick from domoic acid, the same as people. But, he did say dogs that ingest SHELLFOOD contaminated with domoic acid can get sick. And the physical effects depend on the size of the dog and how much contaminated shellfish was ingested."
Linda, I am confused by this. My dog consumes an ENORMOUS amount of water when he swims in either a pool or the ocean because he has his mouth open when he is jumping in to get the football as well as when he is swimming to get back out of the ocean or pool. I know he swallows a lot of the water, because he urinates a number of times afterwards and since I do not give him any other water during that time, the urine can only be coming from the ocean or pool water. A human does not swallow much water because we swim with our mouths closed. Do you think the vet made this statement without realizing that most of our dogs are NOT just casual swimmers, but rather are RETRIEVING while swimming and thus have their mouths open and very likely to be consuming large amounts of water?
Brooke & Chase
P.S. In an attempt to build up Chase's stamina for Splashdogs events, I have been swimming him in my friend Mike's pool a couple of times a week. Yesterday, Chase, Phoebe, and Dunkin all three swam in his pool for 7 1/2 hours. Aside from one 30 minute break for lunch, and two or three 10 minute breaks thoughout the day, they were swimming the entire time. They did not want to get out of the pool. So, we just ran a continous loop; the first would jump in and swim to the stairs, then the second would jump in and swim to the stairs, then the third, and then we started all over again. It is a small pool, so this is the way we keep them from jumping on top of each other. Eventually Phoebe called it quits and went to sleep in the sun, but Chase and Dunkin kept it up for hours. I guess it's a guy thing!
At Splashdogs, running down the dock and jumping high up into the air exhausts Chase VERY QUICKLY, but apparently not so much in a regular pool. Go figure! However, today, my normally endless bundle of energy is content, but basically motionless and sleeping!
07-02-2007, 09:47 AM
Believe me, Bart, the first thing I thought of was the pool water in Stockton. It was really gross. Was that Chinese take-out from the restaurant next to the La Quinta? I'll have to remember to avoid that!
Brooke, my understanding from Dr. Benson is the highest concentration of domoic acid is contained in the shellfish. The way he explained it, simply being in the water, and perhaps drinking some -- or even a lot -- of the water where an algae bloom is occurring is not enough to become sick. I don't know precisely how many parts per billion would be floating around in the water, but Dr. Benson made it clear that a dog getting sick from SWIMMING in the water where an algae bloom is occuring is RARE. Exposure is not the same as ingesting.
Now, remember, this is domoic acid, NOT the same bacterium that causes death from blue green algae. I think we can put to rest the argument about algae blooms in the ocean. I'm sorry if I confused anyone by bringing it up in the same discussion, but we are talking about two different things.
07-02-2007, 11:45 AM
You have NOT unnecessarily alarmed anyone. Quite the contrary. This discussion and the info you and everyone has passed on makes ALL of us more vigilant about looking closely at any body of water (ocean, lake, river, pond, swimming pool, puddle, etc) before letting our dogs play in it.
Just to clarify, yes, domoic acid and algae are different things. Domoic acid is a by product from the red tide in the ocean. It gets concentrated in the tissues of shellfish because shelfish are filter feeders; they filter/eat the plankton. So, the shellfish are consuming the red tide and the resulting domoic acid chemical concentrates in their tissue. When higher organisms (humans, dogs, etc) eat the shellfish, then the chemicals attacks and poisons the body that consumes it.
Blue green algae is a different thing. However, as I understand it, blue green algae can exist in ANY body of water, including salt water. It tends to "prefer" lakes because it can bloom more easily and abundantly in "still" water. By "still", I DO NOT mean motionless. Thus, any area in the ocean that is "still" can also grow algae. The salt does not kill off the algae.
As I said before, the ocean directly in front of my house is so poluted that it regularly gets a grade "F" by Heal The Bay. One of the reasons is that there is a runoff area next to me. The runoff water from the streets, driveways, golf courses, parks, etc runs down the street gutters picking up fertilizer and chemicals along the way. It then runs down the channel and into the ocean. At the mouth of the ocean, it gathers in a pond that is a mixture of both the "fresh" gutter water and the salt ocean water that flows in and out of this pond area. Although there IS water movement with the water flowing in and out of the ocean, algae DOES form on the top of the salt water. The fertilizer and the chemicals in the runoff water "feed" the algae. This algae flows INTO the ocean.
Now that our oceans are so polluted, algaes have abundant "food" to help them thrive. So, although the wave movement in the ocean helps stop the algae from growing, the pollution works on the other side to help it grow. Thus, if you are taking your dog into any area of the ocean that it more "still" such as in coves, it is wise to look out for any potential algae growth before letting him in.
By the way, after over 30 YEARS of arguing between the County, State, and Coastal Commision, we are on the verge of getting a multi-million dollar treatment system set up in place for our runoff channel. And what will all these millions buy? They are putting in an "ultraviolet light" that will shine on the algae and supposedly kill it. This "clean" water will then flow right back into the algae covered pond prior to going into the ocean. Yeah right. So, long story short, I will be continuing to drive the hour to Fiesta Island! See you all there!
Brooke & Chase
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