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Halifax veterinary warns of blue-green algae risks after dog dies: Cunard Lake Beach closed as staff test for blooms

By Caitlin Snow Jul 13, 2023 | 10:58 AM

Denver Saldanha / Unsplash

A local vet is warning dog owners to be weary of blue-green algae.

Halifax Veterinary Hospital say a dog died last month after spending about five minutes in the water at Long Lake in Hammonds Plains.

They say the dog became non-responsive and seizure like and died on route to the hospital roughly 2 hours after being in the lake.

Dogs can become sick after consuming the algae or contaminated water and disease may happen minutes to hours after exposure and may include symptoms such as:

vomiting and diarrhea, skin reaction, sudden death, seizures, respiratory failure, or liver failure.

The hospital says current research suggests cyanobacteria is quite widespread in our province and looks like black, brown, or dark green clumps of vegetation along the shoreline or at the bottom of clear shallow areas.

If the blooms are on the surface, they can look like foam, paint streak, or grass clippings in the water. They can also have an odor that attracts dogs who often will consume it.

If you have any doubt, it is best to keep your pets out of the water and away from shorelines.

HRM says Cunard Lake Beach in Halifax is now closed due to possible blue-green algae.

Water users are encouraged to take the following precautions:
• Avoid water contact. If contact occurs, towel off vigorously and wash with tap water as soon as possible.
• Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where blue-green algae is visible or in areas that have been closed to swimming due to possible blue-green algae.
• Keep pets on-leash and do not allow them to consume blue-green algae material.
• Avoid consuming water from this lake.
• Avoid consuming fish that has come from this lake.


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