During July we reached the high season on the beach. Since many puppies like to swim, we like to take them with us when we visit the lake or the sea. Why not let them splash and play to their hearts’ content? Well, there’s one pretty compelling reason to leave the dogs at home this summer: poisonous seaweed.
Those who live in Maine should pay special attention to this. Last week, the Department of Parks and Recreation in South Portland found signs of toxic blue-green algae bloom in Hinckley Park. They are waiting for official confirmation, but initially advise residents and visitors not to leave their dogs near the lake. They shared on Facebook:
“Please remember, when it comes to cyanobacteria, it is extremely toxic to your dog. Please keep them away from the water’s edge, do not let them drink the water and do not let them swim in the water. “
Jozef White on Pexels
What are cyanobacteria?
Cyanobacteria are also known as “blue-green algae” and are microscopic organisms that live mainly in fresh and salt water. The algae are harmless in low concentrations. It exists in all of the Maine lakes. However, it can sometimes produce toxins during an algal bloom or overgrowth.
If ingested, these toxins can kill dogs and also cause harm to humans According to Scott Williams, executive director of the Lake Stewards of Maine.
@ sopoparksrec / Facebook
This bacteria can be pretty sneaky. For humans, the smell of cyanobacteria ranges from absolutely nothing to sick. The algae are also not necessarily visible and can be present in clear water. It lives both above and below the surface of the water.
It can also be found on the lakeshore. So be careful that your dog doesn’t sniff around there. Even licking your own wet fur or a ball that went into the water can be life threatening.
What if you or your dog come across the algae?
Exposure to blue-green algae can kill a dog in minutes, but it can also take a few days. If you suspect your dog has come into contact with the algae, take them to the vet immediately. You may also want to wear gloves to carry your pup so that the algae don’t touch your own skin. You should also wash off toxins immediately with clean water.
Symptoms in your dog can include:
- Foam in the mouth
- Neurological symptoms such as stumbling, spastic twitching, loss of coordination and partial paralysis
- Difficulty breathing
The best way to avoid tragedy is to keep your dog away from this water! If you see potential poisonous blooms, notify your local health department.
Please SHARE to pass this story on to a friend or family member.
H / T: WGME
Featured image: Jozef White on Pexels