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Lawn Chemicals Hurt our Lake and Our Dogs PDF Print Email
Written by Seth & Carolyn Phillips   
Thursday, 08 June 2017 19:11

Maybe our lake neighbors who keep treating their lawns and harm our lake without thought will care about our dogs.

How lawn chemicals and herbicides affect dogs

Studies indicate possible link between common lawn treatment spray and bladder cancer in dogs.

Ramon Gonzalez
July 22, 2013, 11:08 a.m.

How lawn chemicals affect dogs

Photo: Andrew Smith/Flickr

Do you take as much pride in your lawn as in your adorable pooch? A recent study found that dogs exposed to lawn care chemicals can have a higher bladder cancer risk. Once contaminated with those chemicals, dogs also can pass these chemicals to their owners, children and other pets in the house.

The study, published in Science of the Total Environment, found that the incidence of lawn chemicals in the urine of pet dogs was widespread — even among dogs in households where chemicals were not applied.

Researchers at Purdue University and the University of North Carolina applied herbicides to grass plots under different conditions (e.g., green, dry brown, wet, and recently mowed grass) and tested for their presence up to 72 hours after the lawn treatment.

Some common herbicides — specifically 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxypropionic acid (MCPP), and dicamba — remained detectable on grass for at least 48 hours after application, and the chemicals persisted even longer on grass under certain environmental conditions.

In a separate study, researchers measured the concentration of these chemicals in the urine of dogs belonging to owners who applied and those who did not apply chemicals to their lawns. They found that the chemicals were detected in the urine of 14 of 25 households before lawn treatment, in 19 of 25 households after lawn treatment, and in four of eight untreated households. Finding the chemicals in the urine of dogs in households that were untreated should be a concern for dog owners. It indicates that the untreated lawns were contaminated through drift, or the dogs were exposed to the chemicals during walks.

How are the dogs being exposed to these toxic chemicals?

They can directly ingest these chemicals from sprayed lawns and weeds or they can lick their paws and fur where the chemicals were picked up. There are guidelines for the application of herbicides, but can you be sure that your neighbor has read and followed the directions on the packaging?

Scottish terriers, lawn chemicalsIn 2004, researchers from Purdue University (several of whom also worked on the current study) found that Scottish terriers (shown at right) exposed to lawn and garden herbicides (specifically the aforementioned 2,4-D) had an occurrence of bladder cancer between four and seven times higher than Scottish terriers not exposed to herbicides. Previously, researchers had found that Scotties were already about 20 times more likely to develop bladder cancer as other breeds.

This makes Scotties "sentinel animals" to researchers because they require less exposure to carcinogens before contracting the disease. Other dog breeds with a genetic predisposition for bladder cancer include beagles, wire hair fox terriers, West Highland white terriers, and Shetland sheepdogs.

The implications of this study for human health are also frightening. These chemicals can be tracked inside the house and contaminate flooring and furniture. Dog owners may come in contact with the chemicals simply by petting or holding their pets.

How to avoid or lessen dog exposure to herbicides

Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, suggests homeowners always store, mix and dilute products in areas without pet access.

"Gastrointestinal upset is the most common sign seen when ingestion of fertilizer and herbicide occurs," she says. "However, if large amounts or concentrated products are ingested, veterinary intervention may be necessary. In addition, very young, very old, and debilitated animals may be more sensitive to exposures."

If your lawn is maintained by a company, Wismer suggests that you inform them that you have a pet with access to the lawn, and ask for the company's recommendation for how long pets should stay off treated lawns. In addition, Wismer recommends that homeowners obtain a list of the product names and EPA registration numbers to have on hand in case of an incident.

What can you do if you think your dog has ingested herbicides?

"If a pet parent witnesses a pet consuming material that might be toxic, the pet parent should seek emergency assistance, even if the pet seems fine," says Wismer. "Sometimes, even if poisoned, an animal may appear normal for several hours or for days after the incident."

With proper applications of herbicides, the health risks to our dogs is minimal, but you can't guarantee that your neighbors or the lawn crew you hire will read and follow label directions. In your own home, consider alternating when the front and back lawn are treated, or better yet ditch your lawn altogether and plant a garden for yourself and your dog.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 June 2017 19:16
Welcome to Our Website

Welcome to the new and improved Manistee Lake Association web site. We hope you like the look and the many additional features. We have tried to make the site far more useful as a source of information and communication. Many of the features are in the members only area so we encourage everyone to become a member and to register for the member area. Access is free to MLA members. Members please make sure to update your member information so we have current contact information for you.

We invite comments and suggestions to improve the site as well. We want to make this site as useful and user friendly as we can.  We have tried to minimize some features to lessen download times for those of you with slower internet connections. We will continue to add information to the site and to improve features as we go so please check back often and let us know what you think. I hope you enjoy our new home on the web. Spread the word around. Manistee Lake can always use more friends.


Manistee Lake


County Road 612 Reconstruction Project and Manistee Lake PDF Print Email
Written by Seth & Carolyn Phillips   
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 12:44


This coming summer the Kalkaska County Road Commission plans to reconstruct County Road 612 from County Road 571 to East Shore Drive. Part of that reconstruction will include the replacement of the culvert that serves as the outlet of Manistee Lake to the North Branch of the Manistee River. This culvert is old and rusting and if not replaced now, will likely fail sometime in the next few years and require emergency replacement. The County Road Commission has funding from federal highway funds to replace the culvert now as part of this project.

This project is scheduled to start on July 11. Replacement of the culvert will be the first stage of work and will force the complete closure of CR612 during this time, expected to take three weeks.  The designated detour will be West Bear Lake Road to M-72.  Arrangements have been made to ensure public safety services will be available on both sides of the closure with the help of neighboring fire and rescue departments.

Following replacement of the culvert, CR 612 will reopen but be reduced to one lane of traffic while the remaining stretch to CR 571 is repaved.  The project is expected to be finished by the end of August.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 June 2017 12:26
10 Ways to Help Manistee Lake PDF Print Email
Written by Seth & Carolyn Phillips   
Saturday, 03 May 2014 12:12

Just a reminder to all our lake residents and users on easy things you can do that will help protect  Manistee Lake water quality. (From the Manistee Lake  Homeowners Guidebook)

1. Don’t use lawn fertilizer or weed killer.

2. Help prevent the spread of invasive species! If you trailer your boat

from lake to lake, wash your boat and trailer before launching back

into Manistee Lake.

3. Water the lawn sparingly to avoid washing nutrients and

sediments into the lake.

4. Don’t feed ducks and geese near the lake. Waterfowl

droppings are high in nutrients and may cause swimmer’s itch.

5. Don’t burn leaves and grass clippings near the shoreline.

Nutrients concentrate in the ash and can easily wash into the lake.

6. Don’t mow to the water’s edge. Instead, allow a strip of natural

vegetation (i.e., a greenbelt) to become established along your

waterfront. A greenbelt will trap pollutants and discourage

nuisance geese from frequenting your property.

7. Infiltrate drainage from your downspouts rather than letting it flow

overland to the lake.

8. Don’t dump anything in area wetlands. Wetlands are natural purifiers.

9. Have your septic tank pumped every 2 to 3 years.

10. Don’t be complacent—our collective actions will make or break

the lake!


Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 June 2017 12:29




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