Recently throughout the United States and Canada, more and more reports of Blue-green algae have been reported. This toxic algae has been known to kill dogs that come in contact with it, and experts believe we could be seeing it soon in Maine ponds and lakes. According to the Bangor Daily Newsthis bacteria exists in all Maine lakes already, but in small amounts the bacteria is harmless. The problem is when the water heats up.

Ai Takeuchi, a veterinarian at Lucerne Veterinary Hospital in Dedham said in the BDN report.

“It comes on very quickly. With the algae, it can be 10 to 30 minutes after drinking the water where they start having symptoms.”

 

“Within an hour, they’re losing consciousness,” she said. “Then, as it progresses, some of the toxins will cause acute liver failure, so they can have bleeding from gums or bloody nose, or their vomit or diarrhea will turn bloody.”

While there is no antidote, if caught early enough, the dog can be saved through different procedures.

Scott Williams, executive director of the Lake Stewards of Maine said that the situation is not as dire as it seems.

“This is a problem that should be taken very seriously, but at the same time, people shouldn’t be pushing the panic button.”

He says there is a direct correlation between how clear the water is, and the amount of algae. If you stand at chest height in the water and can't see your feet, you could be in an algae bloom. There also may be an odd odor and a blue/green hue in the water, hence the name of the bacteria.