'Absolutely awful': Dog dies just one hour after swimming in 'toxic' lake

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

A couple has been left heartbroken by the sudden death of their “sweet” dog just an hour after swimming in a lake contaminated by toxic algae.

Morgan and Patrick Fleming shared pictures to Facebook with border collie Arya, who ingested blue-green algae blooms at Allatoona Lake, in Georgia, US.

“We took our sweet Arya to the lake and had the best day playing ball and swimming around. About 30 minutes later on the drive home, we noticed her making weird noises,” Ms Fleming wrote on Sunday.

Her condition rapidly deteriorated and could not walk when they arrived at the vet.

Border collie Arya, pictured with her owner Morgan Fleming, died after swimming in toxic blue-green algae. Source: Morgan Fleming / Facebook

By the time she reached the ER the pup had devastatingly become “brain dead” and could not be saved.

“Today was absolutely awful,” Ms Fleming wrote.

“We lost our fun, loving, and crazy girl to what we can only assume was a lake toxin such as blue green algae.

“Arya, no dog will ever replace you in our hearts. We already miss you more than you could know. I hope you’re running around like a wild girl with all the other border collies in doggo heaven.”

Blue-green algae is a microscopic bacteria found in ponds, freshwater lakes and other salty water ecosystems.

The toxins the substance produces can be poisonous to people and animals that come into contact with it.

The tragedy comes days after three dogs died from algae poisoning after swimming at a North Carolina pond believed to have been contaminated by blue-green toxic algae.

Ms Fleming gives Arya a final hug as vets could not save her life. Source: Morgan Fleming / Facebook

Australia’s toxic algae contamination risks

The risk of algae poisoning is also a concern at Australian lakes and ponds, with pet owners also urged to watch out for dangers here, too.

Victorian animal hospital Lort Smith issued a warning to keep an eye out for deadly blue-green algae following poisonings locally.

Kelpie cross blue heeler named Buddy, and Australian cattle dog cross fawn dalmatian named Logan, were lucky to be saved after coming into contact with the deadly substance.

The pair arrived at the Lort Smith clinic in April after swimming in a pond on their property which has been contaminated by blue-green algae, vets told Australian dog ownership website Australian Dog Lover.

Lort Smith vets said it was hard to tell which blue-green algae was toxic and advised pet owners to treat it all as potentially poisonous.

If a pet comes in contact with the water, immediate treatment is needed to remove the toxins, as it can become fatal within 24 hours.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, download the Yahoo News app from iTunes or Google Play and stay up to date with the latest news with Yahoo’s daily newsletter. Sign up here.