Posted: Wed 10th May 2023

Natural Resources Wales clears blue green algae fears on North Wales coast

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, May 10th, 2023

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has revealed that no signs of harmful blue-green algae were found in an area of the North Wales Coast, despite initial concerns linked to the sudden death of a dog. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

On Sunday NRW issued a public warning following the incident at Penmaen Park, near Penmaenmawr Sailing Club, in Conwy County Borough. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The dog’s sudden collapse was suspected to be due to toxic blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, which can produce harmful toxins under favourable environmental conditions. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In a statement shortly after the incident, an NRW spokesperson urged the public to avoid the water and keep pets at a safe distance. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We’ve received a report of possible blue-green algae in rock pools around Penmaen Park near Penmaenmawr Sailing Club. Sadly, a dog has collapsed and died due to suspected algae poisoning. If you’re in the area, please keep yourselves and pets away from the water,” the spokesperson said. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

However, following an intensive investigation, NRW has now confirmed that no evidence of algal blooms were found in the area.

Despite this, they continue to advise pet owners to keep animals away from any stagnant water and obvious algal growth or accumulation as a precaution. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

NRW emphasises the importance of public vigilance is encouraging members of the public to contact their 24-hour incident line on 03000 65 3000 if they observe any concerning environmental or pollution situations. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, are microscopic organisms found in freshwater lakes, ponds, and stagnant water bodies. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

When environmental conditions are favourable, such as warm temperatures and abundant nutrients, these organisms can rapidly multiply, forming what’s called an algal bloom. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Some species of blue-green algae produce toxins, which can be harmful to animals and humans. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Blue-green algae pose a particular threat to dogs because they are attracted to the water and may drink from contaminated sources or ingest algae by licking their fur after swimming. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It can cause serious health problems, including liver damage, neurological issues, vomiting, and death. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Dog owners should be aware of the following regarding blue-green algae: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Know the signs: Algal blooms can appear as blue-green scum or a paint-like slick on the water’s surface. However, not all blooms are visible, and toxins can still be present even if the water appears clear. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Avoid exposure: Prevent your dog from entering or drinking from water bodies with visible algal blooms or where blue-green algae warnings have been issued. Keep your dog on a leash near potentially contaminated water. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Rinse your dog: If your dog has swum in a potentially contaminated water source, thoroughly rinse their fur with clean water to remove any algae residue. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

If you suspect your dog has ingested blue-green algae: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Seek immediate veterinary attention. Time is crucial, as prompt treatment can make a significant difference in your dog’s prognosis. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Do not induce vomiting unless specifically instructed to do so by your veterinarian. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Inform the veterinarian about the possible exposure to blue-green algae, as this will help guide their diagnosis and treatment plan. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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