Owners Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz took their three pups out for a walk near a pond in Wilmington on Thursday night and allowed them to get in for a swim. Fifteen minutes after leaving the pond, the dog began to have a seizure, according to CNN.
They quickly rushed her off to a veterinary hospital, but on arrival another of the dogs - Westie Izzy - began having seizures too.
Results from waters samples collected on August 7th from two beaches at the lake, Buck Creek and Island View, tested positive for the toxin microcystin, which is produced by the algae.
By midnight on Friday, all three dogs had died, Martin said. "Like I said, if we had any clue this was ever a thing they would have never come", says Martin.
"I would give anything to have one more day with them". Here's everything you need to know about the blue-green algae bloom, how to avoid it, how to treat a possible poisoning, and more.
Martin said she hadn't noticed the water plant - but her vet told her that what had looked like flower debris in the pond was actually cyanobacteria, the scientific name for blue-green algae, which can be poisonous to both humans and animals.
She is determined to ensure that signs are put in place to warn people about these potential dangers so that lives can be saved.
So what is making this toxic algae bloom to such a degree?
A GoFundMe has been created to raise awareness about the algae and get signs in front of all contaminated water to protect other pets.
About 30 minutes later, while driving home, Morgan Fleming said: "We noticed her making weird noises and she threw up and pooped in the auto". Dogs can be exposed to the bacteria by drinking it or licking it off their fur.
This is typically the time of year the algae grows because of the hot temperatures, sunlight, and limited circulation in the water according to experts with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great lakes and Energy.
It's better to keep your dogs away from ponds that look unusual in colour or are murky, as well as those that smell bad.
Harmful algal blooms most often appear as a green scum on the surface of the water, but they also can be brown, black, purple, red or white.