Blue-green algae poses threat for pet owners

Updated: Aug. 13, 2019 at 6:22 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Sulphur Animal Control warns pet owners to stay alert due to blue-green algae being linked to dog deaths in the U.S.

Veterinarian, Lori Willis explained the bacteria.

“It’s also called cyanobacteria," Willis said. "When they are making their energy and releasing oxygen they will produce toxins. It is the toxins that can be very harmful, not only to dogs and cats but to other types of wildlife.”

On Monday, Sulphur Animal Control issued a warning on their Facebook page.

“Our main purpose is to protect the community and not only the people but the pets as well," said Sulphur Animal Control’s Assistant Supervisor, Ana Ledano.

They warned owners of bringing pets to any body of water that algae cold grow in. This includes any type of still warm water such as lakes, ponds, and even streams.

Willis says the ingestion of water infected by the bacteria could lead to dire results.

“These toxins are actually directly toxic to the liver and can cause liver failure," Willis said. “It can go to the brain, and basically be toxic to the brain.”

Willis says you could see side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures in your pet as early as 15 minutes after ingestion.

The DEQ hasn’t confirmed any cases in our immediate area.

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