Three dogs have died, a fourth is close to death and a further six are ill after the drinking water from Brooklands Lake in Dartford, Kent.
Investigations are being carried out but the most likely culprit is blue-green algae.
Blue-green algae belong to the cyanobacteria group of nitrogen fixing bacteria that can produce neurotoxins, cytotoxins, endotoxins and hepatotoxins.They can reproduce explosively under certain conditions resulting in algal blooms that pose a danger to humans and animals.Contaminated water can appear as green, blue-green or greenish brown and may smell musty or earthy.
The Environment Agency recommend that “Not all blue-green algae blooms and scums are toxic, but you can’t tell just by looking at them, so it’s best to assume [that] they are.” They request that all blooms are reported to the
incident hotline on 0800 807 060.
If water is green or otherwise not clear, do not let your dog drink from it or swim.
Also, make sure before your dog enters water that there is nothing on which he can cut paws or become entangled and that he has free access in and out.