Ironically, just a few days after we posted a blog about it, we had a possible case Blue Green Algae Toxicity.

On Tuesday July 29th, a client called the Lake of the Woods Veterinary Clinic, our satellite clinic in Roseau. He had concerns about his dog being sick. The dog had been swimming in a pond and became ill shortly after. She was panting, drooling excessively, vomiting, and seemed a little unsteady. Due to the description the client had given, the veterinarian was concerned of toxin exposure and recommended she be seen right away.

Upon presentation the dog was ataxic (stumbling), trembling, panting and drooling. Her temperature was high normal at 102.8. Since she had been swimming in a pond and the symptoms had appeared shortly after, it is possible she was exposed to Blue Green Algae toxins. A blood sample was drawn to check her blood chemistry. She was placed on intravenous fluids to flush her system and admitted for monitoring throughout the day and overnight.

Her blood work came back normal indicating that her organs had not been affected yet. To prevent damage to the liver (which is common in Blue Green Algae toxins) she was prescribed a supplement called SAMe.  This supplement has antioxidants that protect the liver cells from damage from waste products the liver removes from the blood. The liver also aids in blood clotting. Therefore, damage to the liver from toxin exposure can cause bleeding complications. Vitamin K supports the body’s coagulation (blood clotting) ability, so she was given an injection of it to avoid these complications.

The next morning, she appeared stable. The client was updated. Additional IV fluids, monitoring, and follow up blood work were recommended. The client declined additional treatment at this time and opted to take her home. The client was instructed on after care and advised to watch for symptoms of complications from toxin exposure.

The veterinarian called on Thursday to inquire on how the patient was doing. The client reported that she was doing well so far and had not yet shown any residual effects.

If you are concerned that your pet has been exposed to a toxin, contact your veterinarian immediately. Call the Bemidji Veterinary Hospital emergency line at 218-751-2753.