A woman from Texas took her dog swimming in a river by her house earlier this month.
It's there that Tamra Massey believes her dog, Fina, ate toxic blue-green algae, she wrote on Facebook. She said that shortly thereafter her dog died.
According to KENS5, Massey said the whole incident took place in less than an hour.
Now, Massey is speaking out on social media to warn other dog owners about the dangers of blue-green algae.
Another woman is sharing that her beloved dog died after being exposed to toxic blue-green algae.
On Thursday, Tamra Massey of Boerne, Texas, wrote on Facebook that her dog, Fina, a toy Australian Shepherd, died on July 31, after ingesting some of the algae. Massey wrote that she took her dog to swim in a river by her home. She said that the water "was not infested' with the algae, nor did it look stagnant ... There were simply a few pieces of the algae floating around."
Massey told KENS5 that she could tell something wasn't right, so she took her dog out of the water. And within an hour, Fina fell ill and died.
"It was so fast," Massey said. "Fifteen minutes she was out of the water, and that's when we noticed the first signs, probably 25 minutes total until we got to the vet, and she was all but gone then."
According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, blue-green algae blooms, or cyanobacteria, occur naturally in lakes, ponds, and canals. These blooms can be harmful to both animals and people. In her Facebook post, for example, Massey noted that she got a rash on her arm where she carried her dog out of the water.
Murl Bailey, a professor at the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine, told KENS5 that if a dog ingests the algae "there will be convulsions, rapid panting, and then, in a few seconds, there'll be panting and then there's not much you can do with them."
And Massey's isn't the first case of a dog coming into contact with the poisonous algae. In Georgia, a couple believes their dog was also harmed by the algae while swimming in a lake shortly before dying. In North Carolina, a doggy play date went wrong when 3 dogs became fatally ill after swimming in a pond with algae in it.
In a statement provided to KENS5, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said the river was tested for qualities like pH and dissolved oxygen.
"The monitoring results did not indicate a concern for water quality impairment based on these parameters. Healthy aquatic life was observed and impacts from regulated activities or discharges were not observed," the statement said. "In this instance, local jurisdictions may voluntarily provide public notice or closure based on water quality at high recreational-use areas."
Now Massey is warning others to exercise caution. According to KENS5, her homeowners' association has placed signs warning of the algae by the river.
"If you notice algae on the water, just stay away!" Massey wrote on Facebook "You can NOT tell by looking at it if it is in the 'blooming' phase. Better safe than sorry!"