Clinical signs of poisoning are dependent on the toxin involved. Toxic algae blooms can occur throughout the U.S. and Canada, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. How to Spot It. • Dermal toxin (causes hives or a rash). People should use clean, fresh water to immediately wash cyanobacteria off pets and livestock that contact a bloom. Sadly, in some cases, euthanasia is the only option. This algae overgrowth is called a bloom, and though it may look harmless, cyanobacteria can cause an acute, fatal condition of algal poisoning. The bacteria forms on the surface of the water and blooms, to create a green, blue green or brown coloured scum or foam. Aggressive therapy including intravenous fluids and plasma may replenish electrolytes, regulate blood glucose, support organ function, and prevent shock. Muscle tremors These are spread across th… Also referred to as blue-green algae and blue-green bacteria, cyanobacteriais a bacteria phylum that obtain their energy through a process known as photosynthesis. The killer is blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, that can be found in fresh or salt water and contain toxins that can be fatal to dogs within minutes, hours, or days of exposure. These organisms are incredibly toxic and are known to cause poisoning in dogs, cats, livestock, wildlife, birds, fish and even humans. There are many toxic strains of cyanobacteria that can cause symptoms leading to a fatal conclusion within 30 minutes to 24 hours. Cyanotoxins are powerful natural poisons, including ones that can cause rapid death by respiratory failure. Those who do, suffer severe liver damage. Cyanobacteria, also known as cyano, is a common photosynthetic organism. Paralysis Muscle relaxers may help animals with muscle tremors. Dogs who do recover from cyanobacteria will usually have lingering liver damage, as well as other possible complications, but with the support of the veterinary team, the patient can have a good quality of life. Cyanobacteria is also composed of a wide variety of bacteria species of different shapes are sizes that can be found in different habitats in the environment. Signs of neurotoxicity include: Excessive secretions (e.g., salivation, lacrimation, etc.) Clearly, if there are human deaths from contaminated blue-green algae they are extremely rare. Unfortunately, there is no antidote for the toxins produced by blue-green algae. A complete blood count and serum chemistry panel could show the presence of alkaline phosphatase and bile acids. Aggressive and immediate veterinary treatment is necessary to help treat the patient. While typically called red slime algae, it can manifest in a variety of colors, such as green, purple and black. Cyanobacteria, or "blue-green algae," form mats on the surface of water and can produce toxins that are harmful to humans and dogs. In canines, the cyanobacteria are typically ingested through drinking infected water, or through accidental taking on of water while swimming. Treatment Plans. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!. The treatment will depend on the condition of your dog when he arrives at the clinic. The aquatic plant has also killed two dogs in Texas and another one in Georgia.. Treatment will include the following as needed, depending upon the type of cyanobacteria involved. This blue-green algae releases toxins that can take minutes, hours or days to kill dogs and can also be deadly for humans. Unfortunately, there is no antidote for the toxins produced by blue-green algae, and the prognosis for an affected dog is poor. Inform your local water officials about the toxicity. Unfortunately, there is no antidote for the toxins produced by blue-green algae. Cyanobacteria lurks in fresh and salt water. Web Design by PHOS Creative, When cyanobacteria oxygenated Earth’s atmosphere over 2 billion years ago they helped create an environment that changed the course of the evolution of animal life. Copyright © 2020 Today's Veterinary Nurse. Toxic Cyanobacterial Blooms. may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Treatment of Cyanobacteria in Dogs Intravenous with electrolytes Seizure medicine Oxygen therapy Mucosal protectants Vitamins Antibiotics Nutritional supplements Medication to bind bile acids Drugs to remove toxins from the gastrointestinal tract Sometimes activated charcoal is used They are not always blue-green but can be red and brown, and can occur in freshwater or saltwater. The blooms proliferate in hot weather, particularly in late summer and early fall. With blue-green algae, immediate veterinary attention is important. This is … If possible, tell the owner to wash the pet off in fresh water immediately so the pet doesn’t lick bacteria from the coat. Anemia / Blood In Urine / Diarrhea / Lethargy / Seizures / Shaking, Laundry or Dishwasher Detergent Pod Toxicity, The nerve tissues are destroyed by the toxicity, Reaction to the toxin is in the form of hives or a rash, High water temperatures (climate change is thought to be a factor) in late summer and early fall allows the cyanobacteria to multiply rapidly, Winds that push the algae towards the shore and keep it there contribute to the growth, Unmaintained backyard ponds and stagnant water sources will promote the cyanobacteria progression, Cyanobacteria thrive in water with a dense surface scum, Water rich in nitrates, organic nutrients, and phosphates will produce heavy blooms, Fertilizer runoff and animal waste in the water aids the growth of cyanobacteria, Dry algae material can be found on the shoreline, Dogs are the domestic animal most susceptible to cyanobacteria because they love to swim and drink from lakes and ponds, and will enter the water no matter what the smell or appearance, Our canine companions will ingest the water, inhale in error when swimming, and lick the scum off their fur when they get out, Drugs to remove toxins from the gastrointestinal tract. 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