Algae warning issued for Beaver Lake; keep dogs away, do not swim

Visitors to Beaver Lake are advised to avoid swimming and keep dogs on a leash due to the presence of a blue-green algae that can be deadly to canines and cause unpleasant symptoms in humans.

Water samples from the lake tested positive for a blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria. Ingesting the toxic bacteria can cause symptoms like headaches, nausea, fever, abdominal pain and vomiting in humans, and can lead to lethal liver damage in dogs.

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The algae blooms look like surface scum with a blue-green sheen. Blooms may be difficult to see, and toxins can still be present in the water without an obvious presence of the algae.

The toxic algae recently made headlines after three dogs in North Carolina died within hours of playing in a pond contaminated with blue-green algae.

To report concerns about possible blue-green algae blooms, contact the nearest public health unit or Ministry of Environment regional office.

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