Dog dies from blue-green algae poisoning in Minnesota lake

One dog is dead and another ill after swimming in a lake near Alexandria, Minnesota. The Douglas County sheriff's office says the symptoms described are consistent with blue-algae poisoning.

10-month-old Captain was playing fetch at the family cabin on Red Rock Lake last weekend, but he suddenly became ill immediately after walking out of the water

"He immediately vomited and eyes rolled back in his head, and started foaming at the mouth," said Dawn Stillers. "He started having seizures, just flopping like a fish out of water."

Captain died during the 10-minute drive to the nearest veterinarian.

"Absolutely perfect, healthy dog. Not one issue," Stillers said. "Wonderful specimen of a dog, and now he's gone. It hurts."

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency can't confirm yet before testing, but says while it is early in the season it's not unheard of to see blue-green algae blooms now. Algae on Red Rock Lake has been on the agency's radar since 2008, partially because of the right recipe of nutrients, shallow depth and this spring's rain and runoff.

What to do if you suspect blue-green algae in your lake

People should avoid contact with the water, and keep pets from swimming in or drinking the water.

What does it look like?

Blue-green algae is often described as looking like spilled green paint, and it can appear gray, blue or green.

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