NORTH CAROLINA Two North Carolina residents took their beloved dogs Abby, Izzy and Harpo to a pond in Wilmington on Thursday night to cool off. Within 15 minutes of leaving the pond, one of the dogs began to have a seizure.
Upon their arrival, a second dog started seizing. Then Harpo, a 6-year-old "doodle" mix therapy dog, began to seize and show signs of liver failure.
By midnight Friday, all three dogs had died. A veterinarian said the culprit was poisoning from blue-green algae present in the pond where they played.
Toxic algae blooms are more likely to infest bodies of freshwater when the weather is warm and waters are stagnant, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
There's no cure for the poisoning, and exposure nearly always leads to death in dogs. Drinking from a body of water where blue-green algae lurks, or licking it off fur can kill a dog within 15 minutes of exposure.