PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Something in the water at Sellwood Park may have killed a family dog on Sunday, Sept. 1.
The Loeb family said Nutmeg had been swimming there several times this summer without incident, but this time proved to be fatal.
Nutmeg was in and out of the water over a 2-hour span that day. As they started heading to their car, she started struggling.
“She just started to slow down like most dogs do when they are tired, it takes a while for her to get tired,” Curtis Loeb said. “So she slowed down and she stopped playing and started walking back to the parking lot, and just really quickly, within a matter of 5-10 minutes, she went from looking a bit tired to looking very disoriented and very sick.”
Loeb said they rushed to a veterinary hospital after carrying her to the car but it was too late to save her.
Nutmeg was a rescue dog that had become an important part of their family. They want to warn other dog owners to take precautions and possibly save their dog’s life.
Loeb said there were hundreds of other dogs at the park that day and he doesn’t know if any others got sick.
There were no signs on the day Nutmeg died, but since then, officials have posted warnings about toxic algae that can harm animals.
“If you find thick, brightly colored foam or scum at a lake, pond or river, don’t let your pet drink or swim in the water!” the signs say.
They aren’t sure exactly what caused Nutmeg’s death.
“It may have been due to just drinking too much water and just general water intoxication and having low blood cells as a result of that, so we aren’t sure if it actually was blue-green algae,” Loeb said. “It could have been just taking in too much water or some other toxin actually.”