First News - - ANIMAL NEWS -

THE Bri­tish Vet­eri­nary As­so­ci­a­tion (BVA) is warn­ing dog own­ers to look out for toxic al­gae in ponds and lakes.

Blue-green al­gae is a bac­te­ria that forms in nat­u­ral bod­ies of fresh wa­ter and can be harm­ful, some­times even fa­tal, to pets and wildlife. Dogs who swim in ponds and lakes can swal­low the wa­ter while swim­ming, or even lick the al­gae off their fur af­ter pad­dling.

The hot sum­mer has caused a spike in the num­ber of al­gal blooms re­ported across the coun­try. The BVA sug­gests you look out for any warn­ing signs put up by the En­vi­ron­ment Agency or lo­cal coun­cils, and keep pets on a lead around wa­ter sus­pected to have a blue-green al­gal bloom. Don’t let your pets swim in it or drink from it, and if your dog has been swim­ming out­side, make sure you wash them thor­oughly with clean wa­ter af­ter­wards.

Symp­toms of blue-green al­gae poi­son­ing can ap­pear within hours and in­clude sick­ness, di­ar­rhoea, dis­ori­en­ta­tion (dizzi­ness) and trou­ble breath­ing. If your pet shows any signs of these af­ter play­ing in a body of wa­ter, you should con­tact your vet im­me­di­ately.

Blue-green al­gae is a nat­u­ral al­gae that blooms in lakes and ponds

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