It’s just a small news item in the Los Angeles and San Diego newspapers…but it’s another story of how special dogs are – and how they use their detection skills to help humans.
On 26 January 2017, a therapy dog at San Diego Cooperative Charter School in Mountain View wouldn’t drink the water a teacher had poured for it from the classroom sink.
The teacher noticed a sheen on the water, which was tested and initially revealed the substance vinyl chloride. Subsequent testing has revealed levels of lead some of which exceed health standards.
A district-wide water testing program is underway in all City of San Diego schools.
All because of one keen-nosed therapy dog with discerning tastes!
Source: LA Times; Voice of San Diego
The surface water bodies around Christchurch are receiving untreated sewerage because of the many broken sewer pipes around the city. This means you need to keep your family (and dogs) away from water until further notice.
Don’t forget that your dogs require their water to be boiled as well. (Even if you have mains water supply, the Council wants you to boil water until further notice.) It is recommended that you boil water for 3 minutes, allow it to settle and cool, and then re-boil for another 3 minutes.
Take care out there.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
Today brings another water quality warning to Canterbury dog owners. This time, it is Lake Ellesmere.
||February 3, 2011
||Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere
The Community and Public Health division of Canterbury District Health Board has issued a health warning because of increased concentrations of blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) being found in Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere
People should stay out of the water at this lake until the health warnings have been lifted. Algae are particularly dangerous for dogs, so they should be kept away from the water.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says although the algal bloom does not contain the acutely toxic species there is still the increased probability of respiratory, irritation and allergy symptoms from exposure to the very high density of the cyanobacterial material present.
“If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and please let your doctor know if you have had contact with the lake water,” Dr Humphrey says
“No one should drink the water from the lake at any time. Boiling the water does not remove the toxin.”
Animals should be taken to a vet immediately if they display any unusual symptoms after coming into contact with the algal bloom.
Eating fish should be avoided because the toxins can concentrate in their bodies. If fish are eaten, remove the gut and liver and wash in clean water.
Environment Canterbury monitors the lake weekly during summer and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality that are of public health significance.
Facts about cyanobacteria:
- The algae occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.
- If the water is cloudy, discoloured, or has small globules suspended in it, avoid all contact.
- Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.
- Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.
For further information visit http://ecan.govt.nz/services/online-services/monitoring/swimming-water-quality/Pages/lake-warnings.aspx
Or contact Community and Public Health on (03) 364 1777.