Blue-Green Algae: What You Should Know

Over the last couple weeks multiple dogs across the country have died suddenly after being at a lake or water source; this apparently linked to the ingestion of blue-green "algae" which contains deadly neurotoxins to dogs and sometimes humans. One lake toxin related death has already been confirmed in Atlanta - at Lake Allatoona. Officials say it is still safe to take your pets to the water, however, be aware of your surroundings. Below is a list of characteristics of blue-green algae to remember when headed outside:

  1. Blue-green "algae" is actually not an algae at all but a toxic cyanobacteria that is usually found at or near the water's surface and can range in color from blue-green, bright green, or red.
  2. When the bacteria blooms, it can look like foam, scum, or spilled paint. Ew!
  3. The algae can also have a pungent or musty smell, but not all blooms give off an odor.
  4. Even when a bloom has dissipated, toxins can still remain in the body of water. 
  5. Toxic algae blooms are more likely to infest bodies of fresh water lakes, rivers and creeks when the weather is warm and waters are right now.

(all images from Getty Images)

Water pollution by blooming blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is world environmental problem.
Green natural background of swamp duckweed or algae.
Blue Green Algae


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