Don't Let Your Dog Drink the Water: The Dangers of Blue-Green Algae
Although dogs rarely seem bothered by the state of the water they choose to drink, it is important for owners to guide their pets away from potentially harmful pools of water. Blue-green algae, for example, can cause a serious reaction if ingested or even with prolonged contact in the absence of ingestion. Learn more about this topic to help your dog stay safe year-round.
Blue-Green Algae Facts
Despite common perception, blue-green algae is not a form of plant matter. The algae actually consist of microscopic organisms that thrive in freshwater or brackish water conditions. Although the algae tend to exist year-round, their presence tends to pose the biggest problem when the temperatures rise. As the water warms up, the algae spread in number and grow into toxic blooms.
Risks of Exposure
High concentrations of blue-green algae can cause your pet to experience gastric distress, including vomiting, within about 60 minutes. Without treatment, your pet’s condition could worsen, resulting in collapse and even coma. The exposure risk increases as the pet cleans water of wet fur or actually ingests the water while thirsty. Your dog does not need to consume a lot of the water to start to suffer ill effects.
Pet Safety Tips for Blue-Green Algae Avoidance
You can keep your pet safe by prohibiting swimming or frolicking in lake water filled with blue-green algae. Always check the water yourself before allowing your dog to run away and play. Do not come into contact with the water, however, as humans are just as susceptible to illness from its exposure. If your pet does come into contact with these algae blooms, head in to your vet for help right away. Your Knoxville veterinarian can help stabilize your pet in an effort to reduce the effects of algae exposure. You can also receive timely and helpful pet safety tips during your visit to avoid other health risks in the future.
Schedule a Visit with Your Veterinarian in Knoxville
If you suspect your pet came into contact with blue-green algae, contact your Knoxville veterinarian by calling 865-658-1020. Your team at Bluegrass Animal Hospital will assess the condition of your pet and offer timely veterinary advice for the ongoing care of your animal. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment.