What is all the blue-green algae in ponds and lakes and why is it causing harm to your dogs? Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald joins us for our weekly Animal House segment to help us better understand what it is and why it’s harmful to your dog.
According to Dr. Fitzgerald, that blue-green algae is Cyanobacteria which accumulated in stagnant water. Dogs are lappers and can ingest large amounts of the bacteria. The bacteria is ingested in the GI tract and can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but it may cause liver disease and neurological signs.
Dogs should not be allowed to swim in or drink out of stagnant water – lakes, ponds, marshy areas or slow moving stream. Standing water can also contain giardia and leptospirosis bacteria in additon to the blue-green algae.
The blue-green algae is not always visible, but sometimes it colors the surface of the water(pond scum). There is no vaccine for blue-green algae but there are vaccines for Leptospirosis which you shoudl have your dog vaccinated for if you are outdoorsy.
Some tips, if you hike with your dog, carry water for yourself and your dog.