Valley vet gives tips on beating the heat with your pet while being mindful of blue green algae

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 11:26 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2022 at 10:01 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - As the heat hits an all-season high in the middle of summer, you might be looking for a place to cool off, and you might even bring along your four-legged friends.

A veterinarian at Anicira Veterinary Center in Harrisonburg says to be mindful of the water you let your dog swim in, as pets each year get sick or die from ingesting water contaminated with blue-green algae which can cause neurological or liver damage.

Dr. Chelsea Bond says she doesn’t see very many cases in the immediate area, but as people travel for vacation it is always something to keep in mind.

Local governments often post warnings if water is contaminated and provide a treatment to the affected area, but there are some symptoms to look for if you think your pet is sick.

“Vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, panting things like that. If you expect any exposure, bathe your animal as soon as you can get that off of them and then go to your veterinarian that’s gonna be the safest thing to do,” Dr. Bond said.

Both Dr. Bond and the American Kennel Club say if the sickness is caught early enough, your veterinarian may be able to flush out the toxins before your pet becomes completely affected.

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