Blue Green Algae (Cyanobacteria)

What is Blue Green Algae

Cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) are microscopic bacteria found in freshwater lakes, streams and ponds. They can produce toxins  that affect people, livestock and pets (including cats and dogs) that swim in and drink from the algae contaminated water. They give the water a blue green appearance which, is also usually accompanied by clumps of algae on the surface (however these are not always present). It is around all year round however, it is worse in the summer months.

Any pet that has been near a water source which contains this can be at risk to it.

Clinical signs

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Blood in stool or black, tarry stool
  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Jaundice (yellow coloured eyes/ gums)
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Shock
  • Excessive secretions (e.g. salivation)
  • Neurologic signs (including muscle tremors, muscle rigidity, paralysis,)
  • Blue discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes
  • Difficulty breathing
(These signs can all be signs of many different illnesses and are not specific to this toxicity however, if your pet shows any of these signs please call your vets for advice)


Unfortunately, there is no antidote for the toxins produced by blue-green algae. Immediate veterinary assistance is vital. If you suspect your dog was exposed to blue-green algae call our vets immediately.

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