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Harmful blue-green algae - keep the dogs out of the water!
This summer has been incredibly hot this year and for some the best way to cool down would be to spend the weekend at the lake with your pet, however, you and your pet will not be the only ones in the lakes this season. Blue-green algae has invaded the lakes of Kansas, so what should you as a pet owner look out for before entering the warm waters of the lake?
According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife the blue-green algae is not a new comer to Kansas lakes, it has just taken advantage of the hot weather and stagnant water the summer has provided and created algae blooms. These algae blooms are what is making several Kansas lakes put out advisories and some even warnings. The blooms release a toxin that is dangerous to fish, pets and humans. It has made some of the waters of lakes look like they are covered in scum and have a bad odor to them.
There have been several human related illness due to the algae, 1 confirmed death of a dog and 2 others are being investigated by KSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. When people are exposed to the toxins associated with the algae they can get flu like symptoms that may or may not include a rash. Dogs, however may have an array of symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and/or difficulty breathing. Park Rangers are trying to warn swimmers of all current advisories and warnings within the affected areas. Just recently Milford Lake has closed due to a record high test level in the Wakefield portion of the lake.
So what’s the difference between a “warning” and an “advisory”? An advisory states that you should not drink the water affected for that area, as well as clean fish properly and only eat the fillet portion of the fish, and they also recommend keeping pets out of the water. Kansas Department of Wildlife states that in a warning to please stay out of the water this includes swimming, wading, and any full body contact with the water. They also state not to drink the water, clean fish well, only eat the fillet portion of the fish, and keep all pets out of the water.
For more information of the warnings, advisories, and closings in your area go to Kansas Department of Wildlife , Parks and Tourism website at www.kdheks.gov.
Submitted by Whitney Gilbert