In this article, you'll learn how to spot blue-green algae (which look green, by the way) in water, and how you notice that your dog has been poisoned with blue-green algae and can provide first aid.
I also give you tips on how to know what the status of the waters in your location is. Enjoy reading and take good care of your dogs!
In Hamburg, unfortunately, a lot of lakes are already "tilted" in this hammer summer and for people as well as for dogs bathing is prohibited there. In fact, it has already happened that dog owners have left their dogs in the lakes or simply did not know there was blue-green-eye danger. And her dogs unfortunately had to go to the vet afterwards.
Here are my tips on Blue-Green-Danger:
Tip 1: What is the cause of this water poisoning?
Lack of rainfall and the combination with high temperatures lower the oxygen content of the water - usually so critically deep that the fish die massively. Currently, for example, tons of fish from the Elbe are carted, since even this flowing water is tilted.
And this condition is a breeding ground for, for example, blue-green algae
"Reckless behavior of us humans can also lead to blue-green algae."
The dangerous for humans and dogs in the blue-green algae are the contained cyanobacteria. These cyanobacteria are also the ones who unfortunately multiply by the blame of reckless people in the water. Whether we dispose of sewage and other pollutants, garden waste such as grass clippings or the like - of course in an illicit way - are also often the reason that a lake tilts.
Unfortunately, agriculture also uses fertilizers that enter the water cycle to pollute the environment and waters.
Tip 2: How do you recognize a blue-green poisoning?
Blue-green poisoning is caused by the toxins of cyanobacteria.
It is enough that your dog drinks from such a lake to poison himself. If he goes through the water only with his legs and licks the paws and the coat afterwards, this can actually lead to liver and nerve poisoning.
These symptoms shows your dog in a poisoning:
- He seems lethargic, perhaps stumbles and has no strength to get up
- The mucous membranes are pale (=> always look in the mouth for the gums)
- He is disoriented, salivates a lot, or his eyes are overly tears
- It can also lead to muscle tremors, muscle rigidity, paralysis or seizures
- In addition, poisoned dogs show shortness of breath and vomiting
- Very often it comes to bloody or black diarrhea
- In the worst case, your dog suffers a shock and / or becomes unconscious
Tip 3: Where do you expect blue-green algae?
Often it comes in stagnant freshwater that these "tilt". These are the warm, shallow and calm areas of lakes, ponds, streams and large puddles that have been exposed to sunlight for a long time.
In the coastal regions of the oceans, it can also come as a so-called algal bloom.
Currently - as mentioned above - even the Elbe here in Hamburg tilted, which is indeed a flowing water. Thus, unfortunately, rivers are also affected.
Tip 4: How can you find out which waters are affected in your place?
Most municipalities, places and also large cities regularly check the water quality of the bathing lakes and waters in order to protect their inhabitants from, for example, blue-green algae. Therefore, I recommend you to google for example, if your place may even have an official page on the status of the waters.
And otherwise address me to the local administration by telephone. It is also in their interest that all people and dogs are well, so I have also made good phone calls with the Environmental Authority here in Hamburg, if I have inquired about the water quality. 😉
Tip 5: This is how you can detect blue-green algae in the water
Very typical for the blue-green algae and their bacteria are green, opaque streaks in the water. It really looks like a real algae carpet and these cloud-like structures are actually labeled so that the water "flowers".
"In blue-green algae, the water is clouded blue-greenish."
So when you walk, you recognize the blue-green algae in the following ways:
• The water is - especially on the shore - bluish-greenish clouded
• You can usually not even a meter in the water to look into the depths
• In some places, even foam and streaks
Tip 6: What to do if your dog has been poisoned
If your dog shows some or even more of the above symptoms after bathing or drinking from a body of water, you should really go immediately to the vet or the veterinary clinic. I would not take any chances there, as such poisoning - especially in puppies, older and immunocompromised dogs - can be deadly.
"If you suspect poisoning you should immediately to the vet!"
I am often a fan of home remedies and "take care of it myself". But in this case, I would always address the vet of trusting! Prefer too much to the vet ... very clear.
Try to stay calm - I know, it's always easier said. Even if you are terribly worried about your dog. But when he feels really bad, it just makes your excitement worse.
Important additional tip: It always helps the veterinarian, if you can describe the symptoms exactly. It is helpful that you know the basic physical values of your dog if it is healthy. Because only if you know what a healthy mucous membrane looks like, you know, for example, that it is far too pale.
Of course, you do not have to run frantically the whole time behind your dog as soon as he runs through a puddle. If it rains again soon, the situation will also relax.
And with a small sip of "bad water" a fitter dog will not fall over immediately. The crowd clearly makes the poison
"You do not have to run after your dog constantly in panic."
I would always have water with you on your walks, which you offer to your dog so that he does not even have to drink from other waters.
And if you find a water strange - as you recognize the blue-green algae, you know now - then just do not let him close. Would I take no risk!
I hope I could help you a bit and also take the worries. Because I think it is always helpful if you know how to detect something dangerous and avoid it, as if you constantly speculate whether the waters are "toxic".
Take good care of your dogs and get well through the summer!