Playing in a lake, pond or creek may seem like innocent fun, but it can prove deadly for dogs. Many bodies of water, especially those that are slow-moving, contain blue-green algae. Here are some facts about blue-green algae poisoning in dogs from the veterinary professionals at Rock Knoll Animal Hospital in Oklahoma City, OK.
How Dogs Get Poisoned
Dogs get poisoned by blue-green algae by playing in the water and from drinking it. They also can get poisoned by licking water off of their coats or paws. Dogs will drink from just about any pool or body of water, no matter how bad it smells. Water with a blue-green algal bloom often smells horrible, but this often does not dissuade dogs from drinking it.
Preventing Blue-Green Algae Poisoning in Dogs
It is best to have the phone number of the nearest emergency veterinarian on hand. Never let your dog swim in any body of water that has an obvious algae bloom, which will appear green, brown, blue, or red. Ideally, do not let your dog swim in any body of water, since they can pick up parasites from the water as well as blue-green algae poisoning. Never let your dog drink water from lakes or ponds. When walking dogs near lakes, ponds, or other bodies of water, keep your dog leashed so they do not go for a swim or drink the water.
Symptoms of Blue-Green Algae Poisoning
Symptoms of poisoning can start as soon as fifteen minutes after drinking contaminated water and include vomiting, diarrhea, sudden weakness, drooling more than usual, collapse, seizures, and problems breathing. Any dog experiencing this type of pet emergency should be brought to an animal hospital as soon as possible.
If Your Dog Gets into Contaminated Water
If your dog slips its leash and swims in contaminated water, time is of the essence. Rinse your dog off with clean water and contact an emergency pet hospital immediately to let them know you are bringing your dog in. The dog will need a pet exam and medication at once. The good news is that the worst effects of blue-green algae poisoning can be avoided if treated early enough.
Schedule a Pet Exam at Our Animal Hospital in Oklahoma City, OK
If you still have questions about blue-green algae poisoning in dogs that have not been answered here and live in the Oklahoma City, OK area, please contact Rock Knoll Animal Hospital at (405) 634-5700.