What is it?
Cyanobacteria – literally blue/green bacteria
colonies that give the water a pea-soup appearance
can also look like blue or green paint on the surface of the water
Very thick – mats can be blown to the shore
Where is it found?
How/why does it grow/what conditions are needed
Most abundant during hot weather – only grows in high water temps
Nutrient-rich water – run-off from fertilized fields
Most actually don’t produce toxins, but all should be considered toxic
Don’t know w/o testing
What areas of the country/state are at risk?
How is it toxic?
What species are affected?
Cats, Dogs, Horses, Cows/sheep/goats/llamas, Birds
Ruminants and birds are more susceptible
Dogs more sensitive to neurotoxins
Need to ingest it
Can lick it off the fur/hair too!
People – contact dermatitis
Types of toxins
Microcystins – harmful to the liver
Anatoxins – harmful to the nervous system
Not toxic unless dense surface bloom present
Blood in stool or black, tarry stool
Pale mucous membranes
First signs in a few hours of microcystins
Death within 12-24 hours
Inability to walk
Excessive secretions (e.g., salivation, lacrimation, etc.)
Neurologic signs (including muscle tremors, muscle rigidity, paralysis, etc.)
Blue discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes
First signs w/in 30-60 min if anatoxin – neuro signs
Death can occur within 30 min, usually a few hours
Limited and rarely effective
Supportive care only
IV fluids, electrolytes, control seizures/muscle tremors
Out of direct sunlight
Prevention of exposure is key!!
Can treat water supplies, water mixing techniques for livestock
Very poor for animals
Good for people, but need medical attention