Ask the Editor: How can we keep pets safe from algae?


We covered a story online at Community Impact Newspaper this month that hit close to home for me.

After receiving reports of dogs who had died following a swim in Lady Bird Lake, the city tested the water for neurotoxins found in blue green algae.

The city found those neurotoxins in samples from Red Bud Isle, Auditorium Shores and Barton Creek taken on Aug. 12.

Red Bud Isle is closed to the public, and the city has asked residents to avoid letting their pets swim anywhere in Lady Bird Lake. In addition to avoiding areas until the weather cools off and kills the algae, we can also keep an eye on our pets. The city says symptoms like foaming at the mouth, stumbling, excessive drooling, vomiting or diarrhea, and respiratory paralysis can show up within minutes or hours.

There is nothing I enjoy more than spending the day around the water with my hound dog, Dobby. I’m sure he’s looking forward to cooling off in the water or laying in the grass under some shade at Red Bud Isle, and it’s a good bet that you’ll find us there once it is safe to return.

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Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor for Community Impact's Central Austin edition. He graduated in 2011 from Boston University and worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in January of 2018.
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