Another dog dies after swimming in Lady Bird Lake in Austin

Pet owners warned not to allow pets in Lady Bird Lake after multiple dogs die

AUSTIN – Brittany Stanton is mourning the loss of her beloved Golden Retriever Oliver, who died after swimming in Lady Bird Lake in Austin on Saturday.

He is the fourth dog to die after swimming in the lake in the past week, according to reports.

Oliver, nicknamed Ollie, started showing symptoms shortly after swimming in the lake, Stanton said in a Facebook post.

According to Stanton's post, Ollie's legs gave out during a round of fetch and he started having seizures in the car on the way to the vet.

"It only took one hour from the time we left the water for Oliver to breathe his last breath. It is still uncertain if water toxicity or the blue algae is the cause, but regardless, I would have NEVER ever ever brought him if I knew that was a risk. No signs are posted. No nothing in the news until now. I’m not from Austin and I don’t know if I would have learned this information any other way," Stanton's Facebook post reads.

She has contacted the City Public Health Office and the Director of the Austin Watershed.

Ollie's full, heartbreaking story can be read here.

ORIGINAL: Pet owners are being advised not to let their pets swim in or drink water from Lady Bird Lake after two dogs reportedly died, according to the City of Austin.

Scientists with the city said preliminary reports show a bloom of blue green algae, which is known to release a neurotoxin that's harmful to people and pets if enough is ingested.

A news release from the city said the algae presence is extremely heavy near Red Bud Isle, covering as much as 40% of the water surface.

Blue green algae is also seen in abundance along shorelines where there is little water flow.

Aquatic species have not been impacted by the algae blooms yet and the city said the algae tends to be more prevalent when there is less water flow.

"The current algae bloom appears to be confined to algae growing on the bottom of the lake and then floating in clumps to the surface," the news release said.

Results from samples taken from the lake to be analyzed are expected next week.

Dogs who ingest the water may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Jaundice, hepatomegaly
  • Blood in urine or dark urine
  • Stumbling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Photosensitization in recovering animals
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Progression of muscle twitches
  • Respiratory paralysis

The city said boating is safe on the lake and reminded the public that swimming in the lake is illegal.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.