Source: CBC (Extract)
Posted: July 06, 2023

A veterinary hospital in Halifax says a dog’s recent death was connected to exposure to blue-green algae at Long Lake in Hammonds Plains.

Halifax Veterinary Hospital said in a statement Wednesday that a dog suddenly died after spending about five minutes in the water at the lake on June 16.

The vet hospital said the dog quickly lost the ability to stand, was non-responsive and showed “seizure-like” activity.

The dog died on the way to the emergency hospital around two hours after leaving the water.

Halifax Veterinary Hospital said exposure to the algae, which produces toxins, can cause illness in humans and can be fatal to pets.

“Clinical disease may develop within minutes to hours of exposure and may include symptoms such as: vomiting and diarrhea, skin reaction, sudden death, seizures, respiratory failure or liver failure,” the hospital said.

The hospital stressed that if owners have doubts that a body of water has an algae bloom, it’s best to keep pets on land and away from shorelines.

On Thursday, Halifax Regional Municipality warned that Cunard Lake Beach in Halifax was closed to swimming due to a possible blue-green algae bloom.

Blue-green algae elsewhere in N.S.

Blue-green algae was also detected in nine other lakes across the province in July, according to the provincial Department of Environment and Climate Change.

Other locations include:

  • Lochaber Lake in Antigonish County.
  • Scotts and Ameros lakes in Digby County.
  • Lake Ainslie in Inverness County.
  • Morris Lake in Halifax County.
  • Mattatall Lake in Cumberland County.
  • Fox Point Lake in Lunenburg County.
  • Indian Harbour Lake in Guysborough County.

The department’s website said the algae can appear turquoise, green, brown, red, white, or a mix of those colours. It also said blooms can “look like fine grass clippings in the water, spilled paint or pea soup,” and can sometimes appear as a thick scum on the surface.