Blue-green algae or cyanobacteria are microscopic bacteria which are present in water bodies such as freshwater lakes, ponds, and streams, etc. Does your dog splash into the water as soon as he gets the sight of waterbodies? If yes, then you need to be very careful as blue-green algae can poison your canine companion. The water present in the water bodies is get contaminated due to the presence of blue-green algae which on drinking by your dog can make him intoxicated. Blue-green algae are life-threatening for dogs as they are photosynthesis organism & produce toxins when they get energy from the sun which is fatal for all the living beings.
Many cases have been reported across the globe about the blue-algae poisoning which is why the concerned authorities have issued warnings to make more and more people aware of blue-green algae toxicity.
What are blue-green algae?
Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae is a photosynthetic bacteria which get their energy from the sun to sustain itself. By using sunlight along with water & carbon dioxide, it generates harmful toxins. The body bodies provide them the ideal ecosystem to grow and nourish themselves. The algae mainly found floating on the surface of water bodies. Although blue-green algae grow throughout the year, it mostly colonized heavily in the hot-humid weather when the water is rich with nutrients. Surely, not all blue-green algae are fatal but still, you should keep your dog away from it as to whether the algae is toxic or not can only be checked in laboratories.
The appearance of this algae is much obvious from its name “blue-green”, however, sometimes it can also be found in red or greenish-brown color. These algae could be foamy or slimy texture and have a very foul odor. Summertime gives these algae the ideal atmosphere to expand which is why you need to keep your dog away from splashing in the waterbodies where blue-green algae are present.
Causes of blue-green algae
- The warm temperature of the water
- Stagnant water
- Presence of phosphorus & nitrogen
Signs of algae intoxication in dogs
If a dog ingests even a small amount of blue-algae contaminated water then it can result in algae intoxication in dogs. Even swimming in a water body that is contaminated by the presence of cyanobacteria can affect your dog’s health as dogs tend to lick their wet coat so there are high chances of licking toxins as well. If you are wondering how are we supposed to know that dog has algae toxicity then you need to look for the signs of toxicity & then rush to the doctor as soon as possible.
Here’s the signs that your dog will probably display on suffering from algae toxicity:
- Excessive drooling
- Muscle rigidity
- Blood in faeces
- Labored breathing
On noticing any of these signs then you need to take your dog to a veterinarian to get him treated before he gets severely ill. No home remedies can cure blue-green algae poisoning in dogs so the only way to track back your dog’s health is by getting him treated. The doctor will run a different examination to determine the severity of the case then he will provide medications to alleviate the toxicity.
Tips to avoid algae poisoning in dogs
As they say “prevention is always better than cure” so all the dog owners should understand their responsibility and keep their furry companion safe and secure to avoid any chances of fatal poisoning. Always keep your dog under control when you take him near any water body. Even a small amount of contaminated water can result making your dog ill.
- Always look for warning signs released by the authorities to know about the purity of water
- Never let your dog drink water from any water body so always carry drinking water with yourself before heading outside with your dog
- Don’t let your dog splash into the water if the water is dirty
- If your dog loves water then you should always put him on a leash when you are around any water body.
- You are responsible to keep your dog safe so always make sure to keep him under constant supervision.
Dogs can’t judge which water body is safe for them or which is severely contaminated so being a responsible owner, you need to make sure that your dog doesn’t come in contact with water which is contaminated by blue-green algae.