When in Doubt, Best Stay Out

September 19, 2009 at 3:26 pm 1 comment

It’s  that time of year again.  The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued a news release yesterday warning pet owners of toxic blue-green algae blooms in lakes and ponds.

A dog died during the weekend after swimming in Fox Lake in Martin County, apparently as a result of exposure to toxic blue-green algae. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the dog’s owner said the dog swam in the lake on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 13, and was dead within hours.

Blue-green algae “blooms,” like those on Fox Lake and some other lakes around the state, can produce toxins. These toxins can be deadly to dogs or other animals if ingested, particularly when they clean themselves after contact with the water.

Blue-green blooms can occur throughout the summer, but the recent warm weather and lack of rain create ideal conditions for them. The MPCA has confirmed other blue-green blooms this summer but this was the season’s first apparent animal death attributed to them.

Algae are a vital natural part of the aquatic environment and most of them are harmless; but sometimes water conditions (typically in mid- to late-summer when warm, still, nutrient-rich water is common)  favor blooms of algae species that can be harmful to mammals.  Some (not all) blue-green algae produce toxins. 

Because toxic conditions can arise quickly in algal blooms and because laboratory analysis is the only way to determine when a bloom is harmful – all blue-green algae blooms should be considered potentially dangerous.

Blooms are less toxic to people, who typically just develop skin irritation or upper respiratory problems when they’ve been exposed to harmful algal blooms.  But dogs and other animals can die very quickly after ingesting water containing the toxins.  If you suspect your pet has ingested water containing blue-green algae you must get him to a vet immediately.

MPCA offers this advice on identifying blue-green algae blooms:

Research has identified the conditions listed below that tend to occur along with a harmful algal bloom. If you observe these conditions on your lake or pond, it is best to avoid contact with the water and keep pets and children out of the water until the bloom dissipates. 

  • Very low transparency, Secchi often 1.5 foot or less;
  • Very high chlorophyll-a concentrations, generally greater than 30-50 ppb; and
  • Very high pH, generally 9.0 or greater.

For those of you who don’t have a background in hydrology or geochemistry, the page includes several helpful photographs of blue-green algae blooms as well as photographs of harmless species that are often confused with them.  Click photo for link:

AlgalBloom

Have a pet-related business?  MPCA also offers this free pdf format poster on the dangers of blue-green algae.  I’m getting one printed up in large format for the training room.

About these ads

Entry filed under: dogs, health, minnesota, safety. Tags: .

One Time Rabies Vaccine Coming? Loose-Leash Walking FAIL

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. The Daily Reviewer  |  September 21, 2009 at 5:36 am

    Hi!

    Congratulations! Your readers have submitted and voted for your blog at The Daily Reviewer. We compiled an exclusive list of the Top 100 Pets Blogs, and we are glad to let you know that your blog was included! You can see it at http://thedailyreviewer.com/top/pets/2

    You can claim your Top 100 Blogs Award here : http://thedailyreviewer.com/pages/badges/pets

    P.S. This is a one-time notice to let you know your blog was included in one of our Top 100 Blog categories. You might get notices if you are listed in two or more categories.

    P.P.S. If for some reason you want your blog removed from our list, just send an email to angelina@thedailyreviewer.com with the subject line “REMOVE” and the link to your blog in the body of the message.

    Cheers!

    Angelina Mizaki
    Selection Committee President
    The Daily Reviewer
    http://thedailyreviewer.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

RSS

Copyright notice

All original content on this Web site is copyright © on the date of publication by this author. All rights reserved except, of course, that others may quote from original content under the 'Fair Use' provisions of US copyright law.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 270 other followers

Top Dog Blog
Featured in Alltop
ResearchBlogging.org

sitemeter

Add to Technorati Favorites
Dog Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
blogarama - the blog directory
Blog Directory
Blog Directory & Search engine
September 2009
M T W T F S S
« Aug   Oct »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 270 other followers

%d bloggers like this: