Take care when walking your dog as there has been a rise in blue-green algae.



Take care when walking your dog as there has been a rise in blue-green algae.

The British Veterinary Association have issued a warning for dog owners to take extra precautions when walking their dogs as there has been a rise in reports of potentially toxic blue-green algae.

There has been an increase in reports from Lincolnshire, Southampton, Edinburgh, and Cornwall. Coming in contact with the algae can be fatal for animals if it is left untreated and can also cause rashes and illness in humans.

Pet owners are being urged to keep dogs on leads around affected lakes. There have been a number of reports of dogs becoming ill and even dying after swimming in water that has been suspected of being contaminated with blue-green algae.

It was reported in July that a King Charles Cavalier died after swimming in a lake in Cheshire which was later closed after blue-green algae was found. The toxins from the algae can be harmful to humans and animals. Dogs can swallow algae by drinking water from an infected lake, river or pond, or even by licking their fur after swimming. The symptoms can appear after a few minutes or hours. Some of the symptoms include the following:-





trouble breathing


blood in faeces.

If it is left untreated in animals it can cause liver damage and may be fatal. In humans, contact with the skin or swallowing contaminated water can cause rashes, vomiting, stomach pains, fever, and headaches. In very rare cases it can cause liver damage and brain damage.

The Environment Agency says that it is not possible to tell whether an algal bloom is toxic by looking at it. So you should assume that it is to keep safe. Look out for warning signs put up by the Environment Agency or local councils near water. If you are at all concerned your pet may have ingested toxic algae take it to a vet immediately.



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