N.B. vet suspects blue-green algae in dog death, urges caution around water

A Fredericton veterinarian is urging people to keep their pets out of shallow, warm waters where blue-green algae thrives after a dog died this weekend showing symptoms of contact with the algae.

Colleen Bray said the dog that died before arriving at her clinic suddenly became ill while swimming in the Saint John River near Fredericton on Saturday.

READ MORE: N.B. chief medical officer advises public on potential health risks of blue-green algae

New Brunswick health officials confirmed last summer that three dogs were killed by exposure to toxic substances produced by a type of blue-green algae after swimming in the Saint John River.

The algae has not been confirmed as the cause of Saturday’s death, but Bray said the sudden symptoms – starting with vomiting and tremors and rapidly leading to death – are similar to previous cases.

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WATCH: Increased water temperatures and high nutrient levels could lend to the growth of blue-green algae. Shelley Steeves reports.

Click to play video: 'Moncton biologist says algae bloom in Jones Lake ‘deadly for dogs’' Moncton biologist says algae bloom in Jones Lake ‘deadly for dogs’
Moncton biologist says algae bloom in Jones Lake ‘deadly for dogs’ – Jul 3, 2019

Bray advised pet owners to err on the side of caution and avoid stagnant water in hot and sunny conditions, as dogs can ingest blue-green algae from swimming in water or by picking things up from a riverbank or beach.

New Brunswick’s chief medical officer issued an advisory on June 27 warning people to check bodies of water and shorelines for the algae that often blooms in warm weather.

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