Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae is found worldwide and some species produce toxins that affect animals and humans. Animals are generally exposed by drinking or swimming in contaminated water. It is best to avoid letting dogs swim in ponds that have a visible green color and to empty objects that may contain standing water.
Signs and symptoms of toxicity:
Different signs and symptoms may be seen depending on the species of cyanobacteria. After exposure, dogs have been reported to become lethargic, depressed, experience a loss of appetite, and/or refuse to eat. Neurotoxic effects such as inability to move limbs, tremors and excessive saliva production have been seen. It can even lead to death.
Toxic consumption: The minimum threshold for toxicity is not known and suspected consumption should be reported immediately.
– Water related diseases. World Health Organizaiton Web site. http://www.who.int.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/water_sanitation_health/diseases/cyanobacteria/en/#. Updated 2001. Accessed January 2, 2015.
– Puschner B, Pratt C, Tor ER. Treatment and diagnosis of a dog with fulminant neurological deterioration due to anatoxin–a intoxication. J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2010;20(5):518-522. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-4431.2010.00578.x [doi].
– Rankin KA, Alroy KA, Kudela RM, Oates SC, Murray MJ, Miller MA. Treatment of cyanobacterial (microcystin) toxicosis using oral cholestyramine: Case report of a dog from montana. Toxins (Basel). 2013;5(6):1051-1063.