Oklahoma Cities Testing For Dog-Killing Blue-Green Algae At Ponds, Lakes
EDMOND, Oklahoma - A toxic bacteria that is killing dogs across the country is now in Oklahoma. Blue-green algae is showing up in lakes and ponds, and dog owners need to be careful about letting their pups cool off.
Blue-green algae has killed dogs in Texas, North Carolina and Georgia, just within the past week. OU biology professor Dr. Dave Hambright told me that while the bacteria is usually present below the surface, the mixture of a wet spring and hot temperatures brings the bloom to life.
“Now we’re in the part of the summer which we all love,” Hambright explained, “nice and warm and long, calm days sometimes, and that’s the perfect mixture for blue-green algae.”
When the dogs swim in infested water then lick themselves clean, they can die within an hour, which happened in Texoma recently.
Hambright recalled, “Basically the liver in the dog just fell apart. By the time they got it to the vet, it was too late.”
Dog owner Dillon Neufeld frequents the Edmond Dog Park and grew concerned after reading stories on Facebook.
“They both love playing in the water,” Neufeld said of his Blue Heeler and German Shepherd. “That’s their favorite place to be, so I’m there two or three times a week.”
He called the city to investigate, and the park's pond was quickly shut down after receiving the results.
Neufeld said, “Less than 24 hours, they came back saying it was very slight traces of it, but still with this weather, it’s still pretty scary.”
The City of Moore is now testing all its ponds and lakes to be safe.
“There’s a lot of wind and the pond is moving pretty good,” Robert Pistole with the city observed, but admitted, “It can develop pretty quickly, so we’ve got to keep a good eye on it.”
The City of Moore will know the results next week.
Hefner Paw Park has already said its waters are safe to swim after tests came back negative for the toxic bacteria.
Hambright advised, “Warm, bathtub-feeling water that smells a little bad, really, really super green, just stay away.”
If your dog does take a dive, wash them with soapy water before they can clean themselves.