Toxic Algae Exposure

Aug 15, 2019 | Health

I typically give you a post on Friday of “What I’m Loving” but today I have to talk about dogs across the South that are dying from Toxic Algae Exposure.  My dad mentioned this to me so I went home and did some research to find out what is going on.  I feel that this is something I need to post to help make us all aware that not every lake or pond is clean and we should be careful.  
Per my research of several sites, this toxic algae is called blue-green algae, a form of toxic bacteria called cyanobacteria. While the organism is not actually algae, it contains chlorophyll that makes it look similar to the plant. The algae is usually found at or near the water’s surface and can range in color from blue-green, bright green, or red. When the bacteria blooms, it can look like foam, scum, or spilled paint. The algae bloom can also have a pungent or musty smell, but not all blooms give off an odor. Even when a bloom has dissipated, toxins can still remain in the body of water. 

In addition, blue-green algae can make humans sick, with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, twitching, paralysis, cardiac or respiratory difficulty and liver failure. The bacteria can also cause skin irritation, rashes and gastrointestinal issues. 

The CDC says symptoms your pet might display if it’s been exposed to toxins from algal blooms include excessive salivation (foaming at the mouth), weakness, difficulty breathing, convulsions, loss of appetite, loss of energy, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures and death.

To protect yourself and your pet, do not swim in any bodies of water where the water is discolored, has any foam, scum, or mats of algae on the surface, or that has a “musty” smell.

Wash yourself and your pet thoroughly with fresh water as soon as possible if you suspect contact with water contaminated by an algae bloom.

The CDC says if you, a child or a pet swallow water from where there is a harmful algae bloom, call your doctor, a poison center, or a veterinarian immediately.

My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost their pets over the last week.  They planned a fun filled day of swimming and adventure only to end up at the vet that evening watching their dog pass away.  Dogs can pick up parasites and disease from bodies of water such as the Giardia parasite, so we all need to be careful.  

Jake and Maggie had a fun filled weekend of playing frisbee, chewing on their frisbees and relaxing in the sun.  Again, I wanted to get this post out but will definitely be posting a “What I’m Loving” next week with double the info and pictures!  I promise.  I’ve also have a new pet treat recipe coming your way!  If your dog loves pumpkin, this recipe is for you to make!

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