Falkirk dog owners have been warned over a deadly 'mash potato-like' substance

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Warnings have been re-issued regarding a substance similar in look and texture to mash potato which has been known to kill dogs within 24 hours if they ingest it.

Dog owners are being warned of the dangers surrounding blue-green algae – a substance similar to mash potato – which has been prevalent in the UK for a number of years now.

According to dog experts Kennel Store, Google trends data shows a 5000 per cent increase in searches for “is blue green algae toxic to dogs” so people are becoming more concerned about this danger and want to keep their pets as safe as possible.

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A Kennel Store spokesperson said: “Dogs love paddling and swimming in bodies of water like rivers and lakes. But it can be hazardous for them to go swimming in waters when bacteria such as blue-green algae is around.

If you see this in your local waterways do not let your dog near it
(PIcture: Willem van-Aken)If you see this in your local waterways do not let your dog near it
(PIcture: Willem van-Aken)
If you see this in your local waterways do not let your dog near it (PIcture: Willem van-Aken)

“Blue-green algae is a term which describes a group of bacteria, called cyanobacteria. Whilst algae is in the name, it isn’t actually algae but a collective term for the bacteria as it looks like algae when it is clumped together in waters.

“It can be hard to see blue-green algae unless it has collected together, therefore it can pose a risk to dogs. When you do see large patches of blue green algae, it’s common to see green flakes, brown dots and greenish bundles.

"It can often resemble foam and can be found at the edge of lakes or ponds. It’s often found where the water doesn’t flow and isn’t fresh, where rainfall is much less frequent, which allows the bacteria to build up.”

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Patches of blue-green algae are so dangerous and potentially lethal because they contain extremely harmful toxins which stop a dogs liver from functioning correctly.

Exposure to blue-green algae is often fatal and dogs that do survive can be left with long lasting health problems. Some types of blue-green algae can have fatal effects

quickly and can kill a dog in as little as 15 minutes to an hour after drinking contaminated waters.

Signs and symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning include seizures/fitting, vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty breathing, weakness, collapsing, unconsciousness, confusion and disorientation and dribbling.

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