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Hi,

How the heck do you tell if a water hole is murky vs. having a blue-green algae bloom?

They are starting to post warnings of blue-green algae blooms in our area (Massachusetts - was posted at Tufts).

I swim my guy in a little water hole that is greenish but has no algae on the surface. I tried googling blue-green algae bloom images but the images don't match what the little water hole looks like.

So anyone know how to tell if it's just a murky little water hole vs. blue-green algae bloom?

Obviously I've stopped swimming him in that area until I am sure but it was perfect for him (recovering from surgery).

So many swim places have dried up.

Anyway, would love some insight as to how to tell if I should be concerned or not?

Thanks in advance!
 

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That's scary stuff to be sure. I worry about it too.
Even at Tito's (field) training pond, I am careful to rinse him off thoroughly before I put him back in the car.
 

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Somewhere in a past forum thread is my dog Tally's struggle with Blue-Green algae (July 2008). Thank goodness for Tufts, bc no one else knew to diagnos it (since it's more relevant to the south than Maine, Mass, and Connecticut, the states in which we had been playing/ field training). I almost lost my beautiful friend over it, and it was one of the scariest experiences I've shared with a dog. I am now extremely cautious in hot weather about ponds and water that is too warm.
 

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Jo Ellen, I think the first one you posted was right too- it just took all those pages to get it figured out. That was quite a nightmare- it just went on for so long. Silly Tally- he had Bartonella too from a tick. Meanwhile, the other dogs are just normal. He is the problem child.

2008:
I took Tally down to Tufts, and they said he found his way to some Cyanobacteria, which is just starting to form into blue green algae in the water- but not enough to see/kill him. This is very uncommon in Maine, and I had never even heard of it. It is strange that the other two dogs didnt get into the same pond, or puddle. We have at least ten hikes we do all the time, and I have no idea which one has this dangerous water! Tally has gone 12 hours without being sick, so I am keeping my finders crossed!
 

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I realized that as I read through it more. Never have encountered this algae but I'm in mortal fear of it, I just don't think Daisy could handle it at her age.

But as it turns out, I think we won't have to worry about it anymore this summer -- 6 of one and half a dozen of another :(
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Jill,

Read of your horrible account of tally's blue-green algae episode and I am so happy that it is long over and he is okay.

And after reading it, I am completely freaked out about water with the high temps and drought conditions we have been having so I will stick to Moosehead Lake when we camp and rivers that are obviously moving (and not green in any way.)

GoldenCamper, thanks for the link to the CRWA info!

Kaysy, I'm going to be putting in a call to the Conversation commission in town and ask. And if it turns out that it is blue-green algae, I'm going to make sure a sign is posted. My mom and many others swim their dogs their. Good suggestion!

Thanks everyone!
 

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Jill,


And after reading it, I am completely freaked out about water with the high temps and drought conditions we have been having so I will stick to Moosehead Lake when we camp and rivers that are obviously moving (and not green in any way.)
!
This is what I do now too- it changed some of my favorite walks- especially a gorgeous hike that is surrounded by a sluggish estuary that seems to have the algae even though Maine should be too cold. Moosehead Lake and any running rivers are fine, and even post ponds that are cool/cold when you stick in a toe. It's warm water that is no good.
 

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Last fall I asked about swimming areas for dogs. I wondered about the forest preserve lakes. The general common answer I seemed to get from the board was to let the dog swim only in lakes that humans are allowed in! So I stick with that.

Kris
 
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