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Blue-green Algae

By September 6, 2022 Greenbay Vet News
Following a recent case that was shared with us, we wanted to remind dog owners of the dangers of blue-green algae.
 The dog affected appeared to lick material close to or on a dead fish at the water’s edge of Wimbleball Lake on Exmoor in Somerset, and sadly died shortly afterwards. Tests confirmed the dog died of anatoxin poisoning after encountering blue-green algae (https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/government-scientists-confirm-anatoxin-poisoning-in-dog/). Our sympathies go out to this dog’s family 😞
💧Blue-green algae are most commonly found in non-flowing fresh water such as lakes or ponds during warm weather. They can float on the surface of the water or be bottom dwelling.
💧During a bloom, the water becomes less clear and may look green, blue-green or greenish-brown. Scums can form during calm weather when several bloom forming species rise to the surface.
💧Exposures in animals usually occur when they drink from water bodies where the algae have bloomed. Dogs are often affected when they swim in infested water bodies or groom themselves afterwards.
💧Although not all species are toxic, many blue-green algae produce toxins. Signs in pets can vary depending on the toxin involved but can include tummy upsets, liver failure and neurological signs.
💧If you know or suspect that your pet has come into contact with blue-green algae, seek veterinary treatment ASAP.
💧Be vigilant for warning signs, placed when such blooms are detected. Sadly no warning signs were present at this particular lake. Incidents of cyanobacterial blooms or scums can be reported to the Environment Agency on its 24-hour hotline at 0800 80 70 60.

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