BOSTON (CBS) – There’s a warning for dog owners in Massachusetts about cyanobacteria in bodies of water around the state. This comes days after a North Carolina woman said three of her dogs died from swimming in a pond filled with toxic blue-green algae.
The MSPCA tweeted Tuesday that dogs should not be allowed to wade into ponds that may be filled with the deadly bacteria.
.@MassDPH warning: #cyanobacteria cases popping up around the state. Please do not allow dogs to wade into ponds with green film on the surface–which indicates significant bacterial accumulation #pet #safety #tips 1/2 pic.twitter.com/FRFX6rIvT4
— MSPCA-Angell (@MspcaAngell) August 13, 2019
“Our Angell vets say that typically a dog has to drink infected water to get sick, but bacteria CAN enter through open wounds – so avoid all bodies of water in which blue/green algae surface film is present,” the organization said.
A notice on the state’s Department of Public Health website, last updated Friday, states that cyanobacteria blooms have been found at Billington Sea in Plymouth, Crystal Lake in Newton, Devol Pond in Westport and Barnstable’s Long Pond Marstons Mills and Shubael Pond.
“There are reports of animals getting it on their skin and licking it off their hair and becoming sick as result of that as well,” said Dr. Kiko Bracker of MSPCA-Angell.
The trail was virtually empty along Newton’s Crystal Lake Tuesday evening, with dog-walkers instead staying up by the street and far away from the water.
“Keeping them away for sure,” said dog owner Jackie Riley. “We’re not even letting them put their paws near it.”
The MSPCA says to call your vet immediately if your pet has been around an algae bloom and shows symptoms such as vomiting, staggering, drooling, or convulsions.
The CDC states that toxic blooms most often form in the late summer or early fall, where warm, slow-moving waters gain nutrients from sources like fertilizer runoff or septic tank overflows.