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TOXIC EFFECTS OF SOME BLUE-GREEN ALGAE IN PONDS AND LAKES

Before reading this article, take a deep breath and assume that you and your animals will not be affected by this problem. Worry about anything tends to bring it closer to you. For those of you who do swim in lakes and ponds yourself and with your dogs, do notice if there is algae around that has not been there before. Most of the lakes I swim in have always had algae present. If you do live in a area that is having a problem with this (the article was from Kansas, and I found mention for Ohio, DC, Maryland and N. Carolina) I would suggest rinsing off with GrapeFruit Seed Extract, or the Forever Green ( at my site) household cleaner that has GSE in it.

Even non toxic algae blooms are changing our waters and destroying native plant and animal species. Taking a strong sustainable stance in each of our lives will help prevent these unnatural blooms. What is one more thing you can begin doing today to help the environment? Be sure your car is tuned up. Avoid Styrofoam (ask for aluminum foil to take your leftovers home) and bring your own cup to the snow ball stands (that’s a Maryland treat!).

To find out if your state is having a problem – enter Cyanobacteria HABs and your state name.

I have excerpted from a longer article at http://www.cattlenetwork.com/cattle-news/latest/Livestock-producers-beware-Watch-for-toxic-blue-green-algae-126115753.html

There is also great information at http://www.cdc.gov/hab/cyanobacteria/facts.htm

Symptoms should be readily treatable with holistic approaches and healthy animals (keep checking the Early Warning Signs) will be less likely to become ill.

“Blue-green algae is typically only a problem during the hottest part of the summer,” said Kansas State University veterinarian Larry Hollis. “It appears that we are seeing an increase in cases this year because f the extended heat period and/or lack of additional rain.”

The algae can be toxic to humans, as well as animals.

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are prominent in Kansas waters. And, under certain conditions, harmful algal blooms (also called HABs) produce toxins that pose a health risk to people and animals, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The toxins have been responsible for several dogs’ deaths.

Cyanobacterial toxins are classified in two categories: hepatotoxins and neurotoxins.

Some animals become ill after swimming in contaminated waters and grooming their coat after it dries. The first signs of animals’ blue-green algae poisoning usually occur within 30 minutes of exposure and include vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms are followed by progressively worsening signs of liver failure, such as anorexia, lethargy and depression.  Jaundice, abdominal swelling and tenderness in the abdominal area may also occur. Blood values of liver enzymes are typically very high.

If an animal survives the initial phase of liver failure, neurological dysfunction that’s secondary to liver failure is possible. If a neurotoxin is involved, neurological signs can occur minutes to hours following exposure and may include tremors, salivation, seizures, weakness and respiratory paralysis. Acute deaths are possible if the toxin dose is high.

No specific antidote is available, according to KDHE. Handlers should bathe animals’ contaminated skin, but wear protective clothing and gloves to prevent their own skin contact. Livestock producers and pet owners also should contact their veterinarian if they think an animal has been exposed to BGA. The prognosis is poor for animals that develop severe liver failure.

More information is available at the KDHE website:

http://www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/index.htm.

By | 2011-07-26T18:20:39+00:00 July 26th, 2011|environment, environmental toxins|3 Comments

About the Author:

Christina Chambreau, DVM, graduated from the University of Georgia Veterinary College in 1980 and has had a Homeopathic Veterinary Practice since 1988. She is co-founder and was Chair for the Academy of Veterinary homeopathy. She is the author of Healthy Animal’s Journal: What You Can Do to Have Your Dog or Cat Live a Long and Healthy Life; Healthy Dog Journal ebook; Fleas Be Gone kindle; and co-author of Tutorial and Workbook for the Homeopathic Repertory and How to Have a Stress Free Wedding and Live Happily Ever After. She has written and is quoted in many magazines. She lectures at veterinary conferences around the world. She speaks and gives classes for animal enthusiasts and practitioners. She is committed to empowering people to heal their animals and themselves in a way that heals the planet.

3 Comments

  1. Doc C July 28, 2011 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the update.

    How is this BGA different from the organic Blue Green Algae given as a supplement (aka Spirulina)?

    cheers

    Trish

    There are millions of different species of algae. The wonderful, immune supporting, nutrient giving algae like Klamath Lake Blue Green Algae, spirulina and others are carefully grown or harvested from species that an NOT toxic and have been shown to be beneficial.
    Dr. Christina Chambreau

  2. Debra August 29, 2011 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    My son was invited on Saturday to go boating and swimming with his friend and father, they went to lake Texoma …..he was swimming and a Park Ranger came up and alerted them that it was harmful Algal in the water called Blue-Green toxin and to swim at the their own risk …I just learned that there is a high alert and I am so scarred …I am so scarred ….he had a cough before he went due to allergies and I am so upset I heard there is no cure this is my only child he is 15 years old ..he said they did not did not get the water in their mouths …but it can it go through the skin?

  3. Klamath Blue Green Algae June 2, 2014 at 3:13 am - Reply

    Good Day!!!Thank you for sharing this with us..

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