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Dog owners look out, toxic algae seen in Michigan lakes

Algae stink prompts state of emergency
Posted at 10:56 AM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-13 11:07:37-04

LANSING, Mich. — Several dog owners in Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina say toxic algae killed their dogs.

But this algae doesn't just grow in those states.

Officials say Michigan is no stranger to seeing blue-green algae in our lakes.

This is typically the time of year the algae grows because of the hot temperatures, sunlight, and limited circulation in the water according to experts with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great lakes and Energy.

The algae can be difficult to fight because it will only be in the lakes for a week or two, sometime even just one day.

Owners are going to want to look out for green colored water because that is a telling sign the water might be dangerous to pets.

Now the algae doesn't pose much of a threat to humans, only skin irritation, but to our furry friends it could be deadly.

Gary Kohlhepp, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said, "With dogs what happens is that they tend to ingest a lot of the water when they're swimming or maybe if they swim in the bloom when they're done they'll clean themselves and lick their fur."

The best way someone can help their dog is to look before getting in the water or give their dog a bath afterwards to help decrease the risk.

Experts say if the water looks very green or if someone is unsure if the algae is toxic the safe bet is to not risk it.

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