Last week the Erie County Department of Health found toxins in the water samples of 7 locations in Erie County.

The toxins exceeded the limit for dogs to safely be in water but for dog owners how important is it to keep your animals out of the water?

Veterinarians tell Erie News Now its extremely important to not let your dogs swim or drink the lake water.

Officials say it's not the algae itself but the toxins it produces that make it very unsafe for your dogs.

"Their are two types of toxins one that cause GI problems and another that can cause a nervous toxicity", says Dr. Danielle Mzyk, Associate Veterinarian The Animal Hospital of Waterford.  "For dogs we like avoid going into any potential toxins mostly because dogs ingest a lot and dogs that go swimming are happy and go lucky and just in and go for it. They don't really know when to stop and when to keep their mouths closed so when they are going to get that ball or stick they are ingesting some of that water with toxins. When they ingest this water they can have all kinds of these signs and become very ill".

Many dogs love the water especially during a hot Summer day to cool off but these toxins can make your animal extremely sick.

Doctors say if you see any unfamiliar signs with your dog to take them to a vet right away.

Things like vomiting and diarrhea are major signs after drinking toxic water.

Also other signs are when your dog isn't eating normal, is drooling, having seizures or nervous system problems like walking funny.

The Animal Hospital of Waterford say they haven't treated any dogs for the the toxic water yet but it's important to keep your animals out of the water at this time.

"One of these things about the algae blooms is we don't know if they are toxic, most of these algae blooms aren't toxic, but we can't test them unless you test each one everyday that these algae blooms are producing the toxins", says Dr. Mzyk. "We like to be safe as veterinarians and pet owners to not let your dog go out and swim in them just for the pure safety of their animals and for their people as well".


Veterinarians say some tips to keep your dogs out of the water while at the beach is to always keep them on a lease, walking farther away from the water and carrying bottle water for them on long hot walks in the sun.