APEX, N.C. (WNCN)–Sarah Pohlig said she goes to the lake with her dog, Ruby, all the time. However, her trip to Jordan Lake on Saturday was unlike any experience that she’s had.
Pohlig said she was with a group of friends and brought both of her dogs.
She said the group entered the lake near the Farrington Boat Launch and went to a nearby shore where the dogs started playing in the water.
“Ruby really gets into biting all the waves. I didn’t know that she was gulping water,” Pohlig said.
About an hour later, Pohlig noticed Ruby, a three-year-old Beagle mix, start to act unusual.
She said Ruby started whimpering, acted lethargic, and looked almost like she was bloated.
“We thought she was overheated and put a washcloth and ice water on her forehead,” Pohlig said. “I think we were trying to get her cooled down for 10 minutes before we started getting really worried.”
Pohlig said it didn’t take much longer for things to escalate.
She said Ruby’s heart rate started to speed up, her pupils became dilated, she started convulsing and then Ruby was gone. Pohlig said, “It didn’t feel real. I was like, what has happened?”
Ruby’s owner has continued to search for answers and has questioned if her dog came into contact with harmful algae or if Ruby suffered from water intoxication.
She said she questions what other dog owners had experienced after visiting the lake over the weekend.
Chatham County Public Health Department shared a post on social media telling dog owners to use caution following reports of dogs getting ill and dying after visiting the lake.
However, after contacting the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, preliminary tests did not show any signs of harmful algae in the lake.
A news release stated, “[f]ield crews did not visibly find any signs of algae in the area. A rapid-test preliminary analysis of the samples indicate some potential toxin-producing cyanobacteria was present, but not in bloom quantities, and typical for NC lakes during the summer.”
A full official test by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality confirmed the initial tests.
“A full ELISA test and analysis performed at DWR’s chemistry lab this week has confirmed the rapid test results, that microcystin was below detection limit for all three samples in that area of the lake,” officials said Thursday.
CBS17 News caught up with lake goers early in the week.
Scott Rose of Durham, also a dog owner, said he hopes to learn more information about the quality of the water at the lake. He said. “It seems like we do need more water quality testing more frequently, especially since Jordan Lake and Falls Lake are the two main reservoirs for a really growing area.”