“Blue-green algae are really a type of bacteria called ‘cyanobacteria,’ which occurs naturally in all of our waters,” the department said in a news release. “Under the right conditions, the algae can rapidly increase (bloom) and produce toxins. Although HABs typically begin in May, they can occur through October or later. HABs generally coincide with longer days and warm water temperatures, and often flourish in nutrient-laden waters. However, dead algae can wash up on shorelines and in marshy areas and persist for long periods – posing a risk to dogs that eat or drink the algae or ingest it while licking their fur.”
Signs of the illness in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, convulsions, difficulty breathing and general weakness. If these signs occur in your dog, contact a veterinarian immediately.
Humans also can become ill after contact with algae-produced toxins, according to the KDWPT. Symptoms vary depending on the type of contact the person has with the blooms, but can include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore threat and headache.
For the most up-to-date list of waters currently experiencing HABs, or to report a suspected HAB not currently listed, visit www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness. Hunters and the general public can also access current lake conditions by calling 1 (855) HAB-LAKE (1-855-422-5253).