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Blue-Green Colors “Be Aware” When It Comes To Water!

7/29/2014
by Dr. Eduardo Mardones

I was walking my golden retriever at one of the dog parks in St. Paul last week when a sign caught my attention.  It said, “Toxic Blue Green Algae.  Fatal to animals!”  Everyone knows that Golden Retrievers love the water so I had to be extra careful not to let mine swim or drink from the water- which is difficult to do!

I wanted to share with you the dangers of blue green algae to your pets.  If you see algae floating on top of the water it is best to keep your pets out.  It’s impossible to tell by looking at the water if it contains toxins or not so it’s best to err on the safe side.  I see an increase of sick pets due to blue-green algae in the middle of summer and early fall when the water temperatures increase and algae grows.  A small amount of time swimming or a few sips of water can be enough to make your pet very sick and it can happen very quickly.  Symptoms can range from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures, coma and death.  There isn’t an antidote for the toxins, so is best to keep you pet out of the “pea soup like” water.   As a rule of thumb, if you would not swim in the water then your pet shouldn’t either.

For more information please visit links from our local pet poison helpline and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) website.

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/blue-green-algae/

http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/mpca-news/featured-stories/dog-owners-beware-of-slimy-blue-green-algae.html

Blue-green colors are nice, but not when it comes to stagnant water. Please be safe and enjoy this summer. 

Dr Mardones