Weather Forecast


Dog’s death prompts pollution agency to issue alert on toxic algae blooms

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is asking the public to be on the alert for potentially toxic algae blooms in lakes and streams.

The MPCA issued the alert Thursday following the death of a dog last weekend in Sherburne County.

Brock Tatge, the dog’s owner, told the MPCA that he and his family were spending time Sunday on Prairie Lake, where they live, when their dog, Copper, suddenly became ill. The dog had been fetching a tennis ball from the lake.

The MPCA is advising pet owners to check water conditions when dogs are playing near lakes or slow-flowing streams.

Blue-green algae “blooms” have a thick, cloudy appearance that can look like green paint, pea soup or floating mats of scum. Some, but not all species of blue-green algae contain potent toxins that can be deadly to dogs, livestock and other animals within hours of contact.

Pets suspected of being exposed to harmful blue-green algae should be taken promptly to a veterinarian.

Humans exposed to toxic blue-green algae can experience skin irritation, nausea, and eye, nose and throat irritation. Swimmers should avoid the water if they suspect a blue-green algae bloom.