Report Fish Kills or Illnesses
- FWC Fish Kill Hotline: 800-636-0511
- FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline: 888-404-3922
- Report Human Illnesses to Florida Poison Control Center: 800-222-1222 or 9-1-1 for emergencies
- Report Freshwater Blue-Green Algal Blooms to FDEP: 855-305-3903
Algal Bloom Impact on Pets
Exposure to harmful algal bloom toxins, not just red tide, can cause severe illness in pets and livestock when contaminated water is ingested or when animals lick their fur after swimming. The level of illness will depend on the amount of toxins to which they are exposed. Harmful algal bloom poisonings can occur when animals drink water containing algal toxins, when they clean or lick their fur after swimming, or when they consume algal mats.
As you cannot tell if a bloom is toxic by just looking
, it is best to not let your pet or domestic livestock swim or drink water where there is an algal bloom, discolored water, or foam is present. Remember, algal blooms can present in shades of bright green, brown, red, orange, purple, and yellow or other colors.
Pets that swim in water with an algal bloom should be immediately washed before they have a chance to lick their fur. Because of their relatively smaller size and body weight, some animals can suffer greater adverse health effects after ingesting, inhaling, or having dermal contact with algal toxins.
Symptoms of algal bloom poisoning include increased drooling, loss of appetite, skin rashes, trouble walking, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, numbness/tingling, difficulty breathing, heart and circulatory problems, convulsions, loss of consciousness, and even death. This may happen with little time for owners to respond. If your animal shows any of these signs after coming in contact with an algal bloom, please see your veterinarian immediately.