Do you have a dog that loves to be in the water? It is hard to keep our four legged friends out of it , especially in the summer months when the heat is unbearable. If you take your dogs to any bodies of water… Please listen up!

There have been an alarming number of dogs being reported to have had exposure to a toxicity while they were swimming in a lake, river, or creek. The toxicity was identified as blue green algae and this can be found in both fresh and salt water throughout the warmer areas of the world. Affected water may look like pea soup with thick layers of algae on the surface. Blooms of blue green algae contain hepatotoxins and/ or neurotoxins, depending on the species. 

Exposure occurs when a dog ingests or swims in a contaminated body of water that contains cyanobacteria. Clinical signs vary but all are concerning and need immediate medical attention if you believe your pet may have been exposed. 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

  • Lethargy

  • Weakness

  • Shock

  • Seizures/ tremors

  • Icterus (jaundice)

  • Respiratory distress

  • Possibly death within 24 hours to several days. 

Veterinary Medical Attention is needed immediately if any of these symptoms are going on after your pet has been in or around a body of water. 

Stay Alert when taking your pets to adventure outdoors. Prevention is so important to prevent toxicity.  Do not let your pets drink, play or swim in stagnant lakes, ponds, or other bodies of water that have algae with a bluish- green scum on the surface or around the edges. 

Public Health Departments will test water frequently in the areas known for blue- green algae outbreaks so stay alert and look for any warnings or signs in the area. 



  • Blue Green Algae