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: