It's hardly a news flash that the last week or more has been very warm in Brooklyn, hitting in the 90s every single day.
We and our pups may not be crazy about the heat but those little blue-green algae in Prospect Park Lake just love it. As the Biblical command teaches: Be fruitful and multiply. These little one cell life forms, spurred by the heat, certainly do.
So those of us who have been down to the Lake have seen wall-to-wall pond scum, green slighly smelly and potentially toxic to a dog (or person) who swims in it.
So it is with heavy heart, that we share the warning for a second year in a row - please DO NOT LET YOUR DOG SWIM IN PROSPECT PARK LAKE until we get an "all clear" from the NYC Department of Health.
Closing Peninsula Beach, even temporarily, is especially trying news as we are just starting what looks to be a 1-year closure of Dog Beach.
But when the weather cools down, as it did last year, we can expect the DoH let swimming resume within a few days.
Meanwhile, if pup decides to jump in the water upon his own recognizance, don't panic. In a healthy dog, you are probably looking at a severly upset stomach. Young, old and compromised dogs are a different story, however. Dr. Chris Gaylord of North Slope Animal Hospital shares:
There are different types of toxins produced by the algae and the signs depend on the type of toxin consumed. Skin toxins cause a rash; this is the mildest form of toxicity. Liver toxins can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dark stool, jaundice and loss of appetite. Neurotoxins can cause excessive salivation, disorientation, ataxia, depression, and seizures. We would expect dogs to show signs within minutes to hours after exposure/consumption.
So if pup decides to take himself swimming amidst the acyanobacteria bloom, keep a close eye on him, prevent him from licking his fur, rinse him down well and give him lots of tummy rubs at night and, if you would like, a probiotic such as ProBloom to head off a case of tummy troubles.