Blue-green algae are most commonly found in non-flowing fresh water such as lakes or ponds during the warm weather but can also occur at other times of the year. They can float on the surface of the water or be bottom dwelling.
Exposures in animals usually occur when they drink from water bodies where the algae have bloomed. Dogs are often affected when they swim in infested water bodies or groom themselves afterwards.
Although not all species are toxic, many blue-green algae produce toxins that can have effects on different body systems. Clinical signs therefore vary depending on the toxin(s) involved, but can include gastrointestinal signs, liver failure and neurological signs.
If you know or suspect that your pet has come into contact with blue-green algae, we recommend that you seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible. Veterinary professionals can call VPIS on 0207 3055 055.