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Vet’s praise for pair who saved poisoned lake dog
8:00am Thursday 23rd August 2012 in Echo News
A QUICK-thinking couple have been praised by a vet for potentially saving their dog’s life.
The Echo told yesterday how Derek the Staffordshire bull terrier was put on a life-saving drip at YourVets, in Brook Road, Rayleigh , after he took what could have been a deathly dip in Smallgains Pond, at Canvey Heights Country Park, during a walk with his owner, Dave McAnulty, 40.
Mr McAnulty had not seen Castle Point Council notices in the water which advised people of an outbreak of blue-green algae, which produces toxins that are harmful to humans, animals and fish, and by the time Derek had plunged into the pond, it was too late.
But Catalina Thiersen, senior vet at the clinic, said the fact Mr McAnulty and his partner, Emma Carmichael, 40, both of Keegan Place, Canvey, were up front about what had happened could have saved their dog’s life.
She said: “We helped Derek, but we couldn’t have helped him without David and Emma being as proactive as they were.
“They were honest about the exposure and fantastic at bathing the dog at home. They gave him a good wash straight away.
“Their quick reaction made this possible.
“It always helps a vet when owners are so proactive and they’re prepared to make a difference once they realise there might be a problem.”
Mrs Thiersen explained how, once an animal starts showing symptoms following exposure to blue-green algae, they can become “almost irreversible” due to damage to the liver and kidneys.
Symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and drooling, can set in within six hours and can be fatal.
The vet said although those symptoms are common in other illnesses suffered by dogs, pet owners should act fast just in case.
She added: “Toxic screening takes a long time, we need to know what we are testing for otherwise we could miss it.
“If you know there’s been exposure to blue-green algae, contact someone immediately, don’t wait, because once you have got symptoms the chances are you might lose your pet.