I’ve written numerous time about blue-green algae which can be toxic, even deadly, to both dogs and humans. It seems to be cropping up right now in the midwest and although no humans have been seriously sickened by it, it has killed at least six dogs so far.

Blue green algae naturally occurs in waters that are shallow, warm and stagnant. Here’s some additional information on the algae;

The microorganisms can cause a potent smell and, sometimes, be toxic to animals and humans. The scum-like algae can be blue-green to red in color.

Signs of poisoning can start within a couple hours after first contact with the algae.

Side effects for humans include eye, ear or skin irritation and gastrointestinal problems. Smaller people and animals ingesting large amounts of the algae are more susceptible to death.

Algae occur naturally. Some types of blue-green algae can grow and bloom in large numbers. These blooms can release toxins when they’re stressed… Although not all blooms are toxic, when you see it, stay away from it!

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alga toxins can affect animals and humans. For humans, risks include skin irritations to intestinal problems, nerve and liver damage if people are exposed to large quantities. Animals can die from drinking toxic algae, the CDC said.

The video below is specific to the WI/midwest area, but if you are taking your pooch swimming and encounter ble-green algae, find some where else safe for you and your canine companion to have water fun.

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What is blue green algae?

  • Technically known as cyanobacteria, the microscopic organisms live naturally in lakes, streams and ponds at low levels.
  • Under favorable conditions, usually in the summer, the algae can increase dramatically and bloom, creating thick mats, or scrum, on the water’s surface.
  • Between 30 to 50 percent of blooms are nontoxic, but it’s best to avoid the area until the water is tested and declared safe.

For more information: Cyanobacteria

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