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Same blue-green algae that produced harmful toxins in Lady Bird Lake last year found around Red Bud Isle

Further testing will show whether toxins are present in the algae.

AUSTIN, Texas — It's possible another harmful algae bloom may occur in Lady Bird Lake this summer as the temperatures continue to rise and there's less water flow.

On Monday, the risk of a harmful bloom increased, according to the Watershed Protection Department, and weekly testing began at the following four locations: Red Bud Isle, Barton Creek between Barton Springs and Lady Bird Lake, Vic Mathias Shores and Festival Beach.

RELATED: Testing for harmful algae begins at Lady Bird Lake as summer heat brings increased risk

Initial test results show that the blue-green algae at Red Bud Isle, a popular dog park within Lady Bird Lake, is the same species that produced harmful toxins last year and killed at least five dogs. WPD is waiting for further testing to prove whether there are toxins present in the algae.

Because of the increased risk, the department recommends you keep your dogs away from floating mats of algae and stagnant parts of the lake and rinse your dog after getting out of the water. 

RELATED: 'I love you for all of time': Woman sends warning when dog dies after swimming in Lady Bird Lake

Dogs can become sick, and possibly die, after ingesting the algae or licking the algae on their fur. You should watch out for these symptoms:

  •     Excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhea
  •     Foaming at the mouth
  •     Jaundice and hepatomegaly
  •     Blood in urine or dark urine
  •     Stumbling
  •     Loss of appetite
  •     Photosensitization in recovering animals
  •     Abdominal tenderness
  •     Progression of muscle twitches
  •     Respiratory paralysis

Contact a veterinarian immediately if your dog becomes sick after swimming.

Although the risk to humans is low, you should avoid touching the algae.


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