Blue Green algae - Fleet Pond

Posted on August 15, 2017
Archive : August 2017
Category : News


Blue-green algae can be toxic to dogs. Call your vet immediately if you suspect poisoning.


Don't let your dog drink from or swim in water containing blue-green algae.


Blue-green algae is most common during the hotter, drier summer months when there is less rain.

Fleet pond has suffered a few times this year with this type of algae blooms - here we detail the importance of the warnings up around the pond and why you mustn't let your dog swim or drink from it in anyway.

What is Blue-green algae?

Blue-green algae are not actually algae, but the organisms got this name because they often give the appearance of algae when they clump together in bodies of water. They belong to a group of bacteria, called cyanobacteria.

The bacteria cannot be seen with the naked eye unless they clump together. When this happens, blue-green algae can look like green flakes, greenish bundles or brown dots in a pond, lake or stream.

When the algae blooms, it can give look like a blue-green scum has appeared on the surface of the water. It sometimes looks a bit like pea soup.

Blooms of the organisms often build up around the edges of ponds and lakes, which may look like foam.

The algae may be present in a harmful form even if you cannot see it, so take note of any warning signs in the area. These are now all up over fleet pond. Please check this site for up to date information http://fleetpond.org.uk/

Why is Blue-green dangerous to dogs and why they shouldnt swim in or drink infected water?

Dogs who have been swimming in water can get the algae caught in their fur, and can ingest it while cleaning themselves later on.

Blooms of blue-green algae can produce harmful toxins. These toxins can stop a dog’s liver from functioning properly. However, not all types of blue-green algae are dangerous but it can be almost impossible to tell which is which without help from the environment agency..

Sadly, exposure to toxic blue-green algae can be fatal, and can also cause long term health problems in dogs that survive after drinking or swimming in algae-contaminated water. Some types of blue-green algae can kill a dog just 15 minutes to an hour after drinking contaminated water so we would always advise seeking urgent veterinary attention if you suspect your dog has had exposure.

The symptoms of Blue-green algae poisoning...

If your dog shows any of the following signs after drinking from, or swimming or paddling in water, contact your vet immediately and tell them you are concerned about blue-green algae:

  • Vomiting/being sick
  • Diarrhoea
  • Seizures/fitting
  • Weakness/collapse/unconsciousness
  • Disorientation/confusion
  • Drooling
  • Breathing difficulties

There is no antidote for the toxins produced by the bacteria, but if caught early enough, your vet will likely try to make your dog sick and attempt to flush the toxins from the body before they take hold.