MENOMONIA, Wisconsin (WEAU) – A menomonia man seeks answers after his dog died of toxins in Lake Menomin earlier this month.
Cody Christianson brought his dog Bingley to Wakanda Park on June 8th to play disc golf.
Christianson and “Bing,” as he called his dog, had gone to the park many times before.
On that hot day, Bing, whom Christianson said was on a leash, decided to cool off in the water. Minutes later, Christianson realized something was wrong.
“I walk up to him and just see that the eyes are rolled so far into the back of his head, a bit of foam on the mouth,” he said.
Christianson said Bing then started grabbing so he rushed the dog to the vet. Bing died.
Christianson said he thought his dog died of heat stroke. The vet said it could have been something else.
“She informed me that his liver toxicity levels were off the charts,” said Christianson.
He said the alleged culprit was toxins from blue algae blooms in the lake.
Tim Asplund of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said these toxins can be deadly to humans and animals.
“These can have adverse effects, neurological effects, and gastrointestinal effects at really high concentrations,” he said.
Asplund said while the toxins can cause skin irritation, the only way to get a lethal dose is by ingestion.
He adds that blue algae blooms come and go, but clearing them out of the water is difficult. Although they are common in the lake, they are not very common in June.
Christianson said he wanted more signage near the lake warning people of the potential danger.
“I didn’t see her,” he said. “It is clearly not known to everyone.”
Christianson said if he’d seen the warning signs, he wouldn’t have let Bing go into the water.
Dunn County’s Department of Health director KT Gallagher said there were signs on the lake but admits there could be more. She said the department was working on installing bigger and better signs.
Asplund said the DNR and the Wisconsin Department of Health are investigating the incident.
Christianson hopes his story will serve as a warning to dog owners.
Further information on protection against blue-green algae can be found here.
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