According to Pet Poison Helpline, ingestion of blue-green algae for dogs can lead to any of the following: vomiting; diarrhea; blood in stool or black, tarry stool; pale mucous membranes; jaundice; seizures; disorientation; coma; shock; excessive secretions (e.g., salivation, lacrimation, etc.); neurologic signs (including muscle tremors, muscle rigidity, paralysis, etc.); blue discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes; difficulty breathing; and death.
Schmale said he hasn't seen a coroner's report to verify the causes of death, still he speculates the dogs were thirsty and the water contaminated.
Abby was the first of the three dogs to show signs of complications.
Martin and her friends are trying to honor their memory by spreading awareness about blue-green algae.
'What started out as a fun night for them has ended in the biggest loss of our lives, ' Martin wrote. 'We need your prayers.
"I plan to contact whoever I need to contact to make sure we have signs up at every body of water like this that says it's toxic", Martin told the news outlet. Sometimes the dogs do so by licking their fur after a swim.
As of August 8, there are more than a dozen locations with blue-green algae in North Dakota.
So what is making this toxic algae bloom to such a degree? Nitrogen and phosphorus enter bodies of water as a result of human activities, such as agriculture, imperfect wastewater systems, fossil fuels, fertilizers, and the use of soaps and detergents containing those nutrients.
Algae occurs naturally in water, but the blue-green variety are considered Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). He advises all pet parents to keep pets away from any body of water where any algae is present. They advise you take your pet immediately to the vet if you think you may have come in contact with blue-green algae. The toxic algae is usually blue, green, brown, or red, with a slimy texture and often a disgusting smell, the EPA noted. She says they died just a few hours later.