If you're walking your dog around Seattle's Green Lake, be sure you don't let him near the water. The lake is closed due to a toxic algae bloom.
The closure will be in effect until the algae bloom has completed its lifecycle. This could be weeks or months, depending on the fall weather and how it affects the algae in the lake. Warm, dry weather will promote the continuation of the bloom.
Blue-green algae can produce nerve toxins and liver toxins that are poisonous to animals. Call your doctor or vet right away if you or your pets have signs of poisoning.
Signs of neurotoxin poisoning appear within 15–20 minutes after ingestion.
- In animals, signs include weakness, staggering, difficulty breathing, convulsions, and death.
- In people, signs may include numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness.
It may be hours or days before signs of liver poisoning appear. Liver toxins can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting in humans and death in animals.
The toxin was found in an algae scum accumulation at a level of 34 micrograms per liter, well above the state recommended recreational guideline of 6 micrograms per liter.