The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has issued a warning to pet owners in the Southwest to take extra precautions when walking dogs around freshwater, following the death of a dog from suspected blue green algae poisoning.

With the warmer weather conditions, concerns have been raised about an increased risk of toxic blue green algae growth over the coming months.

Exposures in animals usually occur when they drink water from ponds or water bodies where the algae have bloomed. In dogs, exposures have occurred as a result of the animals swimming in infested water bodies and also from grooming after skin exposures.

The toxins produced by the blue-green algae can have a high acute toxicity and exposures frequently result in fatality. Clinical signs are widely varied depending on the toxin(s) involved but can include gastrointestinal signs, hepatic failure and neurological changes.

The best advice to owners is to keep dogs away from lakes and ponds that you know, or suspect, contain blue-green algae.
If there is any suspicion that a dog has been exposed to blue-green algae, vets can call us for advice on 02073 055 055.
Owners call call our Animal PoisonLine on 01202 509000.