Although it's summertime, you might want to avoid bringing your dogs or pets for a pond swim.

According to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, there are currently four confirmed bodies of water across Southeastern Massachusetts that have been tested positive for contamination of the toxic blue-green algae known as cyanobacteria bloom.

One of these three locations is right here on the SouthCoast–Devol's Pond in Westport. The other three locations are Billington Sea in Plymouth, Long Pond in Marstons Mills and Shubael Pond in Barnstable.

Before knowing anything about this deadly floating algae, I spent half my summer in this pond on my kayak. I would have to walk through the mucky film to get the kayak out deep enough before jumping in, and I was "grossed out" by the soupy substance.

Luckily, however, no dogs or animals came along with us.

If you or your pet were to ever come in contact with the cyanobacteria algae, be sure to wash it off the hair or skin immediately after contact to avoid illness or much worse, death.

The MSCPA strongly advises anyone who has had a pet come into contact with the algae to contact their veterinarian immediately to assess the situation and cleanse your pet's skin and fur.

Basically, in a nutshell, keep your dog out of these specific ponds and bodies of water for the time being.

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