ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Veterinarians are warning dog owners to be mindful before taking their pet out for a swim. This comes after reports of harmful blue-green algae blooms in central Virginia and across the country.

Albemarle County closed Mint Springs Lake last week because of an algae bloom. Lake Anna is also dealing with it.

The algae blooms have been linked to dog deaths in several states.

 “I think that dogs don't really care, and normally they get away with drinking from streams and ponds, but I think the algae blooms definitely are a very real issue,” said Dr. John Andersen, veterinarian.

The algae can produce harmful toxins. If you notice your pet showing any signs of distress after a swim, bring them to a vet's office immediately.