Still relevant as we enter this Indian Summer, the recent hot weather and heavy rain has resulted in an abundance of green scum and algae particularly where there is a large area of stagnant water.
Many dog owners will know their pet loves nothing more than a paddle in the local river.
However, due to the spread of this algal bloom, some rivers and lakes are now overridden with a green/blue layer of slime on the surface of the water. And while not all algae are poisonous, some are – and it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, starve fresh water of oxygen and is a risk to human and animal health.
Consumption of contaminated water can lead to neurological and digestive problems, and even death.
It is advised that you keep your dog away from any stagnant water until the weather changes and the water receives a new source of oxygen.
Sadly, there have already been fatal effects for 24 dogs throughout the country in the past year, with blame pointing to ‘algae poisoning’ according to the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS), with a further 53 being treated for symptoms.
The Environment Agency is working hard to aerate the waters that are affected and minimise the danger spots for your dogs, so that they can get back to doing what they do best.
If you do think your dog may have been affected by harmful algae, get them to a vet as soon as you can, to help try to prevent any serious damage to their health.
Image via Alex Quinn on Flickr