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Blue-green algae is a potential toxin for dogs and cats. Blue-green algae are found in lakes or ponds, so basically, where the water isn't moving. And what it is, is an accumulation of a bacteria and the colour of those bacterias when they clump together has this blue-green appearance and that's why it's called the blue-green algae. It's not actually an algae at all; it's a type of bacteria. It tends to collect in these ponds and lakes when there has not been a lot of rainfall. So when the water is very very still and it's not being washed away and it will tend to accumulate around the edges of the lake or the pond, which is where an animal may go in and have a drink or go swimming. And when they ingest that blue-green algae in the water, it is a very horrible toxin and it travels to the liver and can cause potentially fatal liver damage.

So it's really important if you see anything that looks like the blue-green algae not to let your animal drink or swim in that water. Often in parks, there will be signs up, if they know that the algae is present; they will be warning you not to let your pet swim in there. The symptoms would be anything, varies from gastrointestinal symptoms, so vomiting, diarrhoea, not wanting to eat; to respiratory symptoms, so panting, breathing difficulties, fast shallow breathing. Most of the symptoms are coming because of the liver failure that the blue-green algae cause. It can affect your pet very quickly. Up to 15, 30 minutes after ingestion of the toxin, you can start to see signs and if it's not treated quick enough, unfortunately, it can be fatal for your pet.