Blue-green algae blooms in the Caloosahatchee could bring health risks to pets and people

Author: Camila Pereira Writer: Camila Pereira, Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

Thick, green and smelly: Blue-green algae blooms are back, along with possible health risks.

Cape Coral residents in one neighborhood say they are starting to see blue-green algae in the Caloosahatchee Killer Canal, as it’s been dubbed by local.

The toxicity levels remain unknown for now, but the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has taken some test samples.

Residents said this is the first time they have seen the algae appear in the area.

“Anytime that you see a blue-green algae bloom, basically run the other way, do not let your dog drink or swim in the water,” said Dr. Lauren Chirnside, Associate Veterinarian with Grace Veterinary Center, “and if you do happen to come across that, definitely let the local health agencies know about it because it can be harmful to humans and animals.”

Killer Canal is located in the heart of the neighborhood, and many residents have pets.

Chirnside said the effects of the blue-green algae blooms could turn deadly fast, depending on the toxicity level.

“Some dogs can die within an hour, so definitely, it’s one of those things that get into the hospital ASAP,” said Chirnside. “Even if you’re worried that the dog might have a little bit on its paws, go to the hospital right away and get bloodwork done in the appropriate diagnostics.”

The quicker they can attack it, the better they can treat your pet for it.

“There is no one specific treatment. It’s going to be IV fluids, oxygen seizure control. Again, it just depends on the toxin that the dog is exposed to,” said Chirnside.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is analyzing samples from the Caloosahatchee Killer Canal to find out more about this specific blue-green algae bloom and what kind of toxins they may contain.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.