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Blue-green algae causing dog deaths, sickness at Hudson Bend

UPDATE: The Lower Colorado River Authority has found potentially fatal bacteria in the Hudson Bend of Lake Travis, the same area where a dog was found dead after swimming in its waters.


The LCRA found cyanotoxins in solid form along the shoreline after testing water in the bend. Cyanotoxins are forms of harmful blue-green algae that can flourish in blooms in standing bodies of water.

One golden retriever has been reported dead, according to Regency Ranch Golden Retrievers' Facebook page. The LRCA has also reported four dogs who got sick after swimming in the area.

In a post, the committee urged pet owners not to let their dogs play in the lake or along the shorelines where algae has accumulated. While no toxins have been found in other areas of the lake, officials said that owners should use their best judgement on whether or not to let their dogs swim in the waters.

Blooms of the harmful algae can cause the deaths of livestock and dogs, and people may also suffer health issues after being exposed. Symptoms in dogs may include fatigue, excessive salivating, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea and seizures.

Officials were surprised to find the algae because it had never been found in Lake Travis, but the Austin area has had issues with cyanotoxins before. Lady Bird Lake saw two dog deaths last year after the city found blue-green algae in its waters. Officials urged owners to keep their dogs out of the water as long as the cyanotoxins were detected.

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