Toxic algae that killed at least 5 dogs found in some Indiana lakes

Blue-green algae found in Indiana lakes

(WAVE) - Toxic algae that has been killing dogs across the South has been found in some Indiana lakes.

Blue-green algae has been found in Hardy Lake, which sits on the border of Scott and Jefferson counties.

Several pet owners across the country have reported their pups became fatally ill after frolicking in water containing the algae which is toxic to swallow. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources put out the advisories and warns, even if your pet doesn’t drink the water, the scum can get caught in their coat and they can swallow it when cleaning themselves.

If your pet swallows the algae, they could suffer from lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting convulsions and even death. While it’s more dangerous for pets, it has some uncomfortable effects on humans, too.

People who come into contact with it, either by swallowing water or getting it in their eyes, can experience rashes, eye irritation, and nausea as well as tingling in fingers and toes.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management tests all lakes for blue-green algae every other week from May to October.

“It's not a new problem at all,” Andy Henry said. “We've been dealing with it since 2012.”

Henry is the Assistant Property Manager at Hardy Lake and said the lake has been at the advisory level pretty much every summer since 2012.

The algae comes from run-off of fertilizers and organic materials as well as sewage treatment systems, mixed with high temperatures.

“Is it still safe to swim? Absolutely,” Henry said. “Just make sure you’re taking a shower afterwards, not ingesting the water, and keeping pets on a leash.”

Pets aren’t allowed in any of the Indiana State Park lakes anyway. Henry is happy to report the advisory hasn’t had a negative effect on park attendance.

Here are a list of affected lakes in Indiana as of August 16:

  • Brookville Lake - Quakertown SRA
  • Brookville Lake - Mounds SRA
  • Cecil M Harden Lake - Raccoon Lake SRA
  • Hardy Lake - Hardy Lake SRA
  • Kunkel Lake – Ouabache SP
  • Monroe Lake - Fairfax SRA
  • Monroe Lake - Paynetown SRA
  • Whitewater Lake - Whitewater Memorial SP
  • Worster Lake - Potato Creek SP

For the latest list of affected Indiana lakes, click or tap here.

Right now, there are no cases of blue-green algae in any Kentucky lakes according to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

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