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Dogs can be vulnerable to toxins from algal blooms

Fido might love taking a dip or a sip from ponds, lakes or streams.

But, if they're tainted with hazardous blue-green algae, it could be deadly.

That's why New York Sea Grant and the State Parks system collaborated to issue a fact sheet and a brochure to help dog owners educate themselves about the dangers of harmful algal blooms.

"Dogs can be particularly susceptible to the effects of HABs because of their behavior, sometimes drinking water from ponds, lakes, and streams; cleaning their wet fur; and consuming algal mats or scum with attractive odors,” said New York Sea Grant Fisheries and Ecosystem Health Specialist Jesse Lepak.

Cyanobacteria, a blue-green algae, is a potent toxin that can cause damage to the liver and nervous system and result in burns to the skin.

It's the same kind of toxic algae that's found in western Lake Erie and shut down the water supply in Toledo, Ohio, in August 2014.

Although blue-green algae has not been detected on Lake Erie's New York shoreline, it is present in inland water bodies statewide.

Red House Lake joins list of inland waters with suspected toxic algae

Locally, the state Department of Environmental Conservation reported toxic algal blooms in Chautauqua Lake, the Allegany Reservoir and Java Lake as recently as late last week.

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