With her family, Jen Walsh spent a summer day at the lake in 2017.
Hanz, her two-year-old Schnauzer, accompanied them as usual. And as usual, the family and the dog enjoyed playing together.
Hanz would sprint out, catch it, and bring it back while Jen would toss a stick or ball into the water.
This was stated repeatedly. Hanz consistently returned eager for more and full of joy.
Hanz had entered and exited the lake more than twenty times to gather balls and sticks after about an hour and a half. No one could have known that he was in danger even though he appeared to be happy.
A short while later, Jen realized her dog was having a problem. He didn’t shake off the water like he usually did the last time he came back from the lake.
Soon after, he fell to the ground and appeared “worn out.”
The family made the decision to rush the dog to the vet because of how quickly his condition was deteriorating. He got worse while they were traveling, and Jen knew they had to take action to keep him alive.
The dog was hurried into care as soon as Jennifer arrived at the clinic. Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful. The tiny Schnauzer had passed away.
Jen didn’t find out what had happened to her best friend until after he had passed away: he had experienced water intoxication, also known as hyponatraemia.
Tragically, this kills thousands of dogs every year. It might not be very common, but it’s good to know what can happen and in what situations the risk is most extreme.
The condition is brought on by excessive fluid intake, which causes the body to lose sodium.
As a result, the body’s cells begin to fill with water and swell. If the cells in the brain swell, it can affect the central nervous system, which can be fatal.
It’s important to remember that dogs can’t always determine when they need to stop drinking. This can occur when they’re playing in the ocean, a pool or drinking from a water hose.
The first symptoms of water intoxication can be weakness, dizziness, loss of appetite or nausea and vomiting.
Symptoms of water intoxication can include:
- Excessive licking
- Loss of appetite
- Bloated stomach
- Widened pupils and a glazed look
- In severe cases, difficulty breathing, cramps and loss of consciousness
Smaller dogs that are high energy and love to play in the water are at higher risk, because they can absorb a lot of fluid in relation to their body size.
What to do if it occurs
It’s always important as an owner to keep an eye on your dog if they love playing in the water. Some dogs love to throw themselves into waves or completely submerge themselves, which puts them at added risk of taking in too much water.
If you suspect your dog may be suffering from water intoxication, you should always contact a veterinarian directly.
The Walsh family didn’t know that Hanz was in danger, and will certainly regret what happened forevermore.
“This will never happen to us again, but I wish we had been warned of the possibility. It would have saved Hanz’ life. He was the best dog EVER,” Jen wrote on her Facebook page.
Sadly, dogs across the nation continues to die from toxic algae exposure after swimming in lakes.
Just a few weeks ago there was new reports of dogs that died after bathing in lakes with toxic algae.
Two dog owners in North Carolina were left devastated after their three dogs died within hours of exposure to a toxin from a blue-green algae bloom in a local pond.
Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz took their dogs to a pond in Wilmington, North Carolina, to play and swim Thursday night, August 8.
But when day came home, one of the pups started acting strangely – so they took her to the animal hospital.
Tragically, the other dogs soon started seizing and showing signs of liver failure.
Additionally, Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz want to inform other pet owners of the risks posed by the toxins produced by algal blooms.
Martin told WECT that “people need to know about this.”
“Like I said, they wouldn’t have come if we had any idea this had ever been a thing. I was clueless. Additionally, they weren’t certain when we arrived at the emergency vet clinic last night.
The Walsh family are aiming to save more dogs and their owners from this terrible fate. They want to do this by spreading the story of Hanz.
Jen’s Facebook post has already been shared almost 88,000 times on Facebook – thereby spreading the message to all four corners of the world
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