Every year the VPIS receives numerous enquiries about suspected cyanobacteria (blue green algae) exposure in dogs. Although the majority of pets remain well there is a potential risk of severe and even fatal toxicosis with cyanobacteria.

Another natural toxin that has caused poisoning in dogs in the UK is paralytic shellfish poisoning, although cases of this are less common and more episodic.

In collaboration with Cefas (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) we have produced two fact sheets for vets and pet owners with information on clinical signs, treatment and samples required to confirm exposure in clinical cases.

  • Cyanobacteria (blue green algae)
  • Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP)

For published cases of saxitoxin and anatoxin poisoning in dogs the UK, see the following articles:

Turner AD, Dhanji-Rapkova M, Dean K, Milligan S, Hamilton M, Thomas J, Poole C, Haycock J, Spelman-Marriott J, Watson A, Hughes K, Marr B, Dixon A, Coates L. Fatal Canine Intoxications Linked to the Presence of Saxitoxins in Stranded Marine Organisms Following Winter Storm Activity. Toxins (Basel). 2018;10(3):94. Available here

Turner AD, Turner FRI, White M, Hartnell D, Crompton CG, Bates N, Egginton J, Branscombe L, Lewis AM, Maskrey BH. Confirmation Using Triple Quadrupole and High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry of a Fatal Canine Neurotoxicosis following Exposure to Anatoxins at an Inland Reservoir. Toxins (Basel). 2022 14(11):804. Available here