Summertime means fun activities such as camping, hiking, and spending time out in the rivers and lakes. These activities are even better when our dogs can join in the fun. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in blue-green algae in some of our local bodies of water.

Blue-green algae (also known as Cyanobacteria) is a bacteria that floats at the top of our rivers and lakes giving it a painted blue or green appearance. It can produce toxins such as microcystins and anatoxins. These concentrations of algae blooms are most abundant in mid to late summer months in nutrient-rich waters. Ingestion of these toxins can lead to severe and potentially fatal poisoning to your pets! Hunting dogs are at a higher risk due to the increased time spent outdoors, but all dogs are at risk if they play in or drink from this water while you’re out indulging in summer festivities.

Exposure can result in liver damage/failure and neurotoxicity. Some signs to look for if you suspect your pet ingested this algae are vomiting, diarrhea, black/tarry stool or blood in stool, seizures, excessive salivation, muscle tremors, blue discoloration of skin and mucus membranes, or difficulty breathing.

If your dog is showing any of these signs, please call us immediately. We hope you have a fun and safe summer.