As the conditions continue to heat up in our county, we tend to find ourselves loading up the hounds and heading for the water. While we want to enjoy every bit of the beauty that surrounds us, we also need to keep in mind the dangers lurking about. We, here at Humboldt Pet Supply, have gathered some information we would like to refresh in your minds in an attempt to keep our little friends safe!
Blue green algae warnings, typically released in August, were issued by the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services in June this year. This, according to the DHHS is due to contributing factors such as: high water temperatures, low flows, animal and human waste as well as fertilizer runoff. This means that until we get back to cooler weather and the rainy season, the algae is growing guys!
According to the California Department of Public Health:
“A bloom is a build-up of algae that creates a green, blue-green, white, or brown coloring on the surface of the water, sometimes occurring as mats or scum.”
It is also important to recognize that the human eye cannot distinguish toxic from non-toxic algal bloom therefore it is highly recommended that you simply do not allow your pets or children into water containing any floating algal blooms. Should your dog head into water you think may be contaminated, the recommended course of action is to wash the dog thoroughly in clean water and immediately seek veterinary guidance. Sadly, there is no known antidote for dogs that have ingested toxins from blue green algae, though immediate veterinary care may help.
Most commonly a dog is affected by drinking water with toxic blooms, or simply cleaning themselves after a swim through affected waters thereby ingesting the toxins. Some signs your dog may have ingested toxins include: excessive salivating, difficulty breathing, stumbling, inability to rise, falling, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms have been known to show themselves within minutes to an hour of ingestion. Symptoms of skin contact with toxic algae may include: rash, redness and itching.
Keeping this in mind may very well save lives, so have fun, be safe and enjoy the waters responsibly!