Elmsdale veterinarian warns pet owners to watch for blue-green algae in lakes and ponds

Blue green algae

A veterinarian is warning dog owners in Nova Scotia to be on the lookout for blue-green algae in lakes and ponds this summer after two dogs died following a potential exposure to the bacteria.

Juanita Ashton with the Elmsdale Animal Hospital says one of the two Golden Retrievers was dead and the other was suffering from seizures and diarrhea when they arrived at the clinic north of Halifax.

She says the cause of the illness has not yet been confirmed, but the symptoms were consistent with an exposure to toxic blue-green algae blooms.

Ashton says the big risk for dogs is that they often ingest water when they go swimming, which can be potentially fatal depending on the bacteria level.

Residents of the area around Grand Lake, near Enfield, were informed of the danger of the water after one person was hospitalized and two dogs died last week.

Ashton says dogs can develop mild reactions such as skin rashes or suffer from organ failure and even death.

She says dog owners should keep an eye out for bright green scum on lakes and ponds, especially during a heat wave.