Several family pets have died due to contact with blue-green algae/cyanobacteria in Moose Lake.
Moose Lake Watershed Society is warning pet owners to be careful and prevent pets from coming in contact with the bloom.
Cyanobacteria produce several different forms of toxins, some of which are lethal within minutes, others that can bioaccumulate and cause long-term damage to vital organs such as kidneys and liver. Contact can also cause severe dermatitis (skin reactions).
The blue-green algae is not always blue but can be turquoise, green, brown, red, white, or mixes of these colors. The algae can look like fine grass clippings in the water, spilled paint, pea soup, or a thick scum on the surface of the water.
They often smell musty or grassy when healthy and like ammonia when decomposing.
If anyone drinks the water with blue-green algae, it can cause the following:
- liver damage
- fever (temperature over 38.5 °C or 101.3 °F)
- nausea and vomiting
- muscle and joint pain
- cramps in the abdomen
MyHealthAlberta.ca says everyone should treat all algae blooms with caution. Anyone who comes in contact with water that has blue-green algae and is having symptoms is asked to contact Health Link at 811.