Devastation after dog dies days after paddle in pond

Lola, a labradoodle belonging to Mark Hodson who has been put down after being poisoned
Lola, a labradoodle belonging to Mark Hodson who has been put down after being poisoned

Investigations have begun into the death of a dog days after swimming in a pond.

Two-year-old Labradoodle Lola had to be put down on Tuesday afternoon, having been ill since going for a paddle in a pond off Farington Road, Farington, on land owned by Leyland Trucks.

Photo: David Hurst
Mark Hodson of Fiddler Lane, Leyland, by the pond near Leyland Trucks which his dog swam in and later died of toxic poisoning.

Photo: David Hurst Mark Hodson of Fiddler Lane, Leyland, by the pond near Leyland Trucks which his dog swam in and later died of toxic poisoning.

Vets told Lola’s owner Mark Hodson her illness was likely down to blue-green algae in the water, and now he wants to warn others of the danger.

Mr Hodson, 49, of Fidler Lane, Farington, said: “I regularly walked the dog on the public footpath around the land infront of Leyland Trucks and she never went in the pond until Saturday.

“She came out and was fine, then went in the River Lostock for a paddle, which she often did. I thought that would help get rid of some of the muck on her from the pond, because it’s stagnant water and it sometimes stinks.

“We got home and she slept, then in the morning when my wife got up, she noticed Lola was lethargic, wouldn’t eat her food and she struggled to get her outside to go to the toilet.

“By the time I was up, her heart was racing and she was slathering.”

The motor dealer took Lola to Ribble Vets in Penwortham where she was put on an antibiotic drip, then sent home. But she never recovered and on Tuesday afternoon had to be put down.

Mr Hodson said his nine-year-old daughter was “devastated” by the news.

Vet Anna Whitehead said it was likely Lola had a neurotoxin which affected her brain and central nervous system, and it was “most probable” it has come from blue-green algae in a pond.

She said the event was rare, but dog owners should be careful not to let their dogs go in stagnant water.

The Environment Agency has confirmed it will be investigating the reports, as well Leyland Trucks.

A spokesman for the company said: “Leyland Trucks is sorry to learn of the unfortunate loss of the local resident’s pet dog, and we will be conducting our own investigations into this matter.”

Blue-green algae is naturally occurring and if present in large quantities can form a green or brown scum on the surface of the water. Toxins produced by blooms can kill wild animals, livestock and pets . In humans, they can cause rashes and illnesses.