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Terrible toxins in local lakes

Local lockdowns and cancelled summer holidays means the promise of a hot and sunny weekend, is music to many people's ears.

Most owners have heard of the dangers of heatstroke in dogs, but it's not the only threat to canine health that hot and sunny weather can bring.

Vets are urging owners to take extra care after a rise in reports of blue-green algae in various locations across the UK.

What is blue green-algae?

Despite the name, blue green algae is not actually algae - it just looks like it when it forms clumps on the surface of water. It is, in fact, a group of bacteria called cyanobacteria.

The bacteria multiply in periods of warm weather. They produce harmful toxins that are poisonous to dogs which might drink or swim in contaminated water.

What are the signs of toxicity?

Signs of toxicity include drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, disorientation, weakness, collapse and breathing difficulties. If left untreated, it causes liver failure and can ultimately be fatal.

How can I protect my dog?

Keep your dog on a lead near to water that you think or know might contain blue-green algae. Do not let them drink, paddle or swim in it. Look out for signs and the characteristic green or greenish-brown scum on the surface of streams, lakes and ponds.  

What if I think my dog has been exposed?

If you think your dog has blue-green algae on their fur or skin, wash them thoroughly.

If you think they might have ingested contaminated water - seek immediate veterinary attention

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