Following a number of recent reports of confirmed and suspected appearances of blue-green algae on lakes and ponds around the UK, we would like to remind all dog owners to be vigilant when walking their dogs around water.

Blue-green algae is most common in stagnant fresh water such as lakes and ponds during hot weather, but can also occur at other times of the year.

Although not all species are toxic, many blue-green algae contain or produce a variety of toxins. 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  swimming in infested water bodies and also from grooming after dermal exposures. The toxins produced by the blue-green algae can have a high acute toxicity and exposures frequently result in fatality. Clinical signs vary depending on the toxin(s) involved but can include gastrointestinal signs, hepatic failure and neurological changes.

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 can call our Animal PoisonLine on 01202 509000.