Environmental officials are warning New York City dog owners to beware of three parks that have green-blue blooms of toxic algae.
In the past month, officials have identified the dangerous algae in Turtle Pond and Harlem Meer in Central Park, as well as in the pond in Morningside Park, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.
The green-blue blooms, also known as cyanobacteria, can produce different types of poison that can sicken or even kill people, dogs and wildlife.
Residents in Manhattan are being warned against bringing their dogs to the waters of Turtle Pond and Harlem Meer in Central Park, as well as the Morningside Park pond. However, Prospect Park Dog Beach in Brooklyn is still safe for dogs, even though the large pond in Prospect Park is being cautioned about, as well, according to The New York Times.
Symptoms of dogs that intake the toxic algae typically include vomiting, weakness or staggering, drooling, difficulty breathing, convulsions, seizures and eventually potential death, according to Pet Poision Helpline.
Dog owners that believe their dog has been exposed to the green-blue blossoms, should take their pet to a veterinarian immediately.
Poisonous blooms of algae have previously been identified in all 50 states of the U.S. Earlier this month, three dogs died after being exposed to the toxic algae in a North Carolina pond.
Just 15 minutes after leaving the pond, the first dog to eventually die began having a seizure. Not long after, the other two began to seize, and all three dogs died later that night.
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According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), fresh water toxic “algal blooms are most likely to form in warm, still waters that have a lot of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.” Harmful algal blooms can also form in salt water.
Maps of the states where algae blooms reside are periodically updated by the New York Department of Environmental Quality. However, if a health notice isn’t posted, it’s recommended that humans and pets avoid waters that seem murky or smell bad.