Why are blue-green algae so dangerous for the dog? How to recognize them and avoid intoxicating your pet? Follow Our Article, And You’ll Find Clear Answers To All Your Concerns
Why are blue-green algae dangerous for dogs?
Blue-green algae, also sometimes called blue-green algae, are cyanobacteria. These are photosynthetic bacteria that take advantage of solar energy to make organic molecules just like plants do.
Present everywhere on the planet; they inhabit the waters of rivers and oceans in a perfectly reasonable way. But when they generate too much in the hot summer, water pollution, and low water levels, they can become particularly dangerous for our friends Canidae.
During efflorescence or “bloom” algal, these bacteria are then responsible for the production of two toxins deleterious for their central nervous system (neurotoxin) or their liver (hepatotoxin)
In the summer, a dog can become deadly intoxicated by ingesting stagnant water that contains it or only by bathing in contaminated water.
How to recognize cyanobacteria?
With the naked eye, we can locate these algae quite quickly by observing the surface of the waters on which they form a blue/green layer.
They develop in calm, nutrient-rich marine waters or fresh waters during the summer months. The most troubled waters are the waters where nutrients from algae, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, have accumulated.
This high concentration of nutrients is due to the pollution of aquatic environments by agricultural applications and industrial and urban wastewater discharges.
In these waters, the accumulating bacteria form clusters (or flocs) preferentially in areas where the water stagnates like a dead river or puddle.
If you find yourself near a body of water contaminated by blue algae with your dog, it will be necessary to avoid at all costs to be in contact with water and swallow.
Intoxication of the dog by cyanobacteria: signs
Cyanobacterial dog poisoning symptoms may be neurological if the infected algae is hepatic or neurotoxic if the affected algae is hepatotoxic.
Neurotoxic algae can cause tremors, convulsions, breathing difficulties, and hypersalivation. Unfortunately, they also often cause respiratory paralysis that can lead to death of the animal very quickly after contact with blue-green algae (usually in less than 30 minutes).
Hepatotoxic algae occur between 1 and 4 hours after ingestion of contaminated water. They are at the origin of a sound reduction of the dog, vomiting, and diarrhea. They often cause the death of the animal in 24 hours to a few days.
My dog intoxicated by blue-green algae: what to do?
Unfortunately, the health of the dog deteriorates extremely fast and leads almost inexorably to his death in case of cyanobacterial poisoning.
But, acting quickly after intoxication or suspected intoxication, a veterinarian can implement a treatment that aims to eliminate a maximum of toxins, relieve the symptoms of the dog, and support his breathing.
You do not have to waste a second to have a chance to save your pet and drive it as quickly as possible to the nearest open veterinary clinic where contact with blue-green algae has occurred.
If unfortunately, your dog succumbs to intoxication, his death will have to be reported by the veterinarian to the Regional Agency of Health.