Blue-green algae are not technically algae, but the name used to describe a group of bacteria called cyanobacteria. These bacteria can’t be seen with the naked eye but when they clump together on the surface of the water they can look like green, blue-green or brown algae. They’re appearance is sometimes describes as a blue-green scum or foam and often accumulates at the edges non-flowing fresh water such as ponds, lakes and reservoirs. They are most abundant during periods of hot, sunny weather and low rainfall in mid-to late summer months.
Not all types of blue-green algae are dangerous, but some can produce toxins which are very harmful to a dog’s liver. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to tell which blue-green algae are toxic and which aren’t, without laboratory testing. These algae are poisonous to other animals too when swallowed, including to humans.
If you think your dog may be suffering with blue-green algae poisoning, contact your vet immediately.