Montreal has its fair share of beach closings this summer due to poor water quality and we may see some more in the near future. And it's all because of the heat and blue-green algae.\nBlue-green algae have always been present in Quebec lakes and rivers. In low concentrations, it's not much of a problem. But the mix of Quebec's rainy spring causing runoff into the water and the heat of this summer has created the perfect recipe for Blue-green algae to bloom. And bloomin' they are.\nYou've probably seen 'algal blooms' before. It that green, scummy layer on the top of the water. It can be as light as spilled paint or more textured like 'pureed vegetables.' Either way, it's gross.\nAt this time it's almost impossible to know just how bad Quebec's blue-green algae proliferation has become since the Quebec government only tests bodies of water used for drinking.\nView this post on Instagram Microscopic algae and cyanobacteria at magn. 400x. Sped up by 800%/ Здесь представлены микроскопические водоросли и цианобактерии. Удивительно, но они могут двигаться, не имея ни жгутиков, ни ресничек. Ускорено в 8 раз. #Microscopy #Microscope #cyanobacteria #algae #bluegreenalgae #biology #biodiversity #science #diatoms #microbiology #микробиология #наука #биология #микромир #микроскоп #водоросли #цианобактерии A post shared by Veronica (@microbia.ru) on Mar 27, 2019 at 9:48am PDT\nSwimming in water with high concentrations of blue-green algae, AKA "cyanobacteria," can have serious health consequences. They can produce a toxic substance that causes symptoms like:\nStomach ache\n\n\nDiarrhea\n\n\nVomiting\n\n\nHeadache\n\n\nFever\n\n\nSkin irritation\n\n\nThroat irritation\nIf you think you have been in contact with cyanobacteria and are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Info-Santé 811.\nREAD MORE: Asian Stink Bugs Are About To Swarm Quebec, Biologists Warn\n\nDon't forget to keep an eye on any pets you have if you're near a lake. Blue-green algae can be especially harsh on animals and wildlife as they are also more prone to ingest the water. \n View this post on Instagram Dog Safety: if you take your dog swimming in low lying lakes/ponds (ie not alpine) PLEASE beware of Blue-Green Algae. It can be swiftly deadly. A friend just lost their young dog to this beast and although I’ve had working dogs for 12 years, I’ve never heard of it. It occurs in still bodies of water in areas where the ambient temp is high and causes the ‘bloom’ of this algae. It won’t always be as visually obvious as this pic. The algae can even be along the shore and transfer to their fur, which they later lick and it takes hold. Please share this post so no one else faces the trauma of losing their dog. . WHY IS BLUE-GREEN ALGAE DANGEROUS TO DOGS? Blooms of blue-green algae can produce harmful toxins which stop a dog’s liver from functioning properly. However, not all types of blue-green algae are dangerous. Sadly, exposure to toxic blue-green algae is often fatal, and can also cause long term health problems in dogs that survive after drinking or swimming in algae-contaminated water. Some types of blue-green algae can kill a dog just 15 minutes to an hour after drinking contaminated water. Dogs who have been swimming in water can get the algae caught in their fur, and can ingest it while cleaning themselves later on. Concentrations of the algae vary throughout the year and may not always be harmful - but you can’t tell simply by looking at them whether or not they are dangerous, so it is best not to run the risk of allowing your dog to come into contact with water where the algae may be present. Common signs to watch for: Vomiting/Being Sick Diarrhea/Bloody Stools Pale mucous membranes Jaundice Seizures/Fitting Disorientation/Confusion Coma Shock Excessive Drooling Paralysis, Tremors Difficulty breathing Death There is no antidote for the toxins produced by the bacteria, but if caught early enough, your vet will likely try to make your dog sick and attempt to flush the toxins from the body before they take hold. Sadly, blue-green algae poisoning often eventually causes fatal liver failure. These symptoms are commonly seen with other illnesses too, which are often less serious, but you should always call your vet if you are worried your pet is sick. A post shared by Margaret Stewart (@ms_live_inspired) on Jul 24, 2019 at 1:25pm PDT\n\nKeep in mind that most domestic water purifiers aren't enough to get rid of blue-green algae. So that Brita is useless in this case. And boiling water can actually intensify the toxicity.\n\n View this post on Instagram Hot weather often means there increasing levels of blue-green algae like this in non-flowing fresh water, so we've put together some advice to ensure you know how this might affect your dog and what negative symptoms to look out for if your dog encounters it. Visit our blog to read more via the link in our bio or alternatively, search 'Forthglade blue green algae' on Google.⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #bluegreenalgae #travellingwithdog #health #wellness #bacteria #Treatment #contaminatedwater #dogsofinstagram #dogwalkers #dogowners #petstagram #instadog #pethealth #healthydogs #doghealth #toxins #Microalgae #water #lakes #algaebloom #getoutside #naturewalk #wildflowers #algaebluegreen #algae #poisoning A post shared by Forthglade (@forthglade) on Jul 27, 2019 at 2:24am PDT\n\nIf you're near a lake with blooms, it's recommended to keep at least three meters away from the scum. If the blooms or scum have disappeared it's still best to not swim in the water for the next 24 hours.\nTo learn more about blue-green algae, check out Environment Quebec's website.