Owner claims dog's fatal illness began after a trip to Clark's Hill Lake

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Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock/NBC at 7

Sanga passed away from Lepto, a disease her owner believes she got at Clarks Hil Lake.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- As we're looking at blue-green algae issues in Lake Olmstead, a local pet owner is dealing with the loss of her beloved dog.

Brianna Garvin took her dog Sanga to Wildwood Park at Clark's Hill Lake two weeks ago. A little over a week after swimming in the water there, Sanga was acting strange and Brianna took her to get checked out at a local vet.

"I have no words on, I guess, how to describe how much I love her," Garvin said.

A veterinarian at Augusta Animal Emergency ran some blood tests and diagnosed Sanga with Leptospirosis, or Lepto. Lepto is a disease caused by contaminated urine entering the body. In this case, Garvin believes the urine was present in the water at the lake.

It's an illness, according to Dr. Jason Norman, that comes from other animals. Dogs can get it from contaminated water or soil.

"The raccoon will come and urinate or the squirrel or the rat and then it will persist in that wet environment in a puddle or damp soil for up to 180 days," Norman said.

Norman says there are a few ways the bacteria can get into dogs.

"They drink the water or the y're exposed with their mucus membranes or by a cut through their skin and that bacteria then goes into their kidney or liver," Norman said.

The water may have entered Sanga from drinking it or through a cut, but either way, Garvin is convinced her beloved dog contracted the disease in the water at Wildwood Park.

"I just want to let people know this is serious, and it is fatal," Garvin said.

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