With record dry conditions and warmer than average temperatures this summer, conditions are ideal for algae blooms in our Central Oregon waterways.
The rapid growth of blue/green algae (known as Cyanobacteria) release cyanotoxins, which are one of the most powerful natural poisons. Climate change that has elevated temperatures has increased the length of the growing season for these bacteria. They are usually found in non-flowing natural waters, irrigation ponds and decorative ponds.
Symptoms can come on suddenly within minutes or it can take days before effects are seen. If you or your pet have been in waters that you suspect contain an algae bloom then rinse off immediately. Dogs can become sick after ingesting the water while chasing a ball in the water or licking their fur once they get out. Symptoms can include diarrhea, drooling, disorientation, weakness, seizures, respiratory and liver failure. Ingestion of cyanotoxins can quickly lead to death in a dog if not treated promptly.
It is very difficult to tell if an algae bloom is toxic by looking at it. It's best for you and your pets to avoid water that smells bad, looks foamy, scummy, or thick like pea-green or blue-green paint, or if it is brownish red.
Most waterbodies in Oregon are not monitered, so it is highly recommended that you do further research to help you know the signs of algae blooms before you or your pets go in the water. To find out more information on harmful algae blooms in oregon and a list of specific advisories, go to: