Dangers lurking in the water
No we aren't talking about sea monsters but rather the things you can't see that can hurt you or your pets. There have been recent news stories about pets dying after playing in our local rivers and lakes from ingestion of toxic algae. Algae blooms will look like a brightly colored foam or scum on the water. Ingesting or inhaling water contaminated with this toxin can result in symptoms such as weakness, vomiting or diarrhea, difficulty breathing, seizures and even death. Unfortunately life-threatening symptoms can develop quickly, sometimes within minutes. If you notice symptoms seek immediate veterinary care. If your pet does get in the water, wash it off as soon as possible and don't let your pet lick it's fur. If in doubt, stay out of the water!
Giardia is another hazard lurking in the water which is much more common but luckily also more treatable. Giardia is a protozoal parasite (not visible to the naked eye) which can infect many different species including humans. Pets become infected by ingesting contaminated water or soil. Symptoms are most typically diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite or lethargy. However some infected pets do not show any symptoms or their signs may be mild even though they are shedding organisms into the environment. Your veterinarian can check a fecal sample to diagnose giardia and prescribe oral medications to treat it. The best prevention for your pets is to avoid outdoor and communal water sources.
Wilsonville Veterinary Clinic
9275 S.W. Barber St, Wilsonville, OR 97070