Dog dies from exposure to South Umpqua River

Dog dies from exposure to South Umpqua River

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- The Oregon Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) says the South Umpqua River near Myrtle Creek has been added to the warning list for blue-green algae.

The release came on the same day that the Oregon Public Health Division sent a warning out for Diamond Lake.

The OVMA reported that a pet dog died from contact with the water.

Swallowing or inhaling water droplets should be avoided, as well as skin contact with water by humans or animals.

Exposure to toxins can produce symptoms of numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.

The public will be advised when the concern no longer exists. 

The OVMA says that

Dogs have become very sick and even died after swimming in and swallowing water affected
by toxic algae. If you find thick, brightly colored foam or scum at a lake, pond or river, don’t let your pet drink or swim in the water.

If your dog goes into the water:

  • Don’t let your pet lick its fur
  • Wash your pet with clean water as soon as possible
  • If your dog has symptoms such as drooling, weakness, vomiting, staggering and convulsions after being in bloom-affected water, call your veterinarian immediately

With proper precautions to avoid water contact, people are encouraged to visit these bodies of water and enjoy activities such as camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, catch-and-release fishing and bird watching. Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray, which could lead to inhalation risk.