STUART, Fla. (WSVN) — The Martin County Sheriff’s Office believes a toxic algae bloom is to blame for killing one dog and making six others sick.

According to the sheriff’s office, the dogs have a connection to nearby water sources, all of which feed from Lake Okeechobee, which is experiencing an algae bloom.

The cause of the dogs’ illness has not yet been confirmed and veterinarians are evaluating the pups.

All of the animals are experiencing severe vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and respiratory distress.

Investigators said they have looked into other causes behind the illness as well, including intentional poisoning. However, no common factors have been found other than exposure to algae-filled water.

Deputies said thousands of dollars have been spent in research and treatment for the dogs, most of which are still very sick.

Deputies say pet owners should be vigilant and avoid water with algae in it, and animals should avoid eating grass near water sources with algae.

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