Veterinary Medicine

Question: What is Toxic Blue-Green Algae?

Answer: Toxic blue-green algae is what many people refer to as "pond scum." It can also be reddish-purple or brown with a sheen. Not all pond scum is toxic but when it is, it is deadly to dogs. It grows in lakes, ponds, and slow moving streams when water is warm, usually between June and September. There is no easy way to tell when the toxins are released. The toxin can cause sudden death, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea and liver toxicity. The signs occur very fast, often within hours. There is no specific treatment, and symptomatic treatment is usually unsuccessful.

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