Last Friday Seattle Children’s Hospital put a post on its blog saying that potentially toxic algae was discovered at the Magnuson Off-Leash Dog Park beach.
Toxic algae has been a chronic problem in Green Lake, but this is the first time that I’ve heard of it at Magnuson Off-Leash Park. And this is the
first time I’ve heard of toxic algae forming in the winter.
Normally, algae becomes toxic when warm weather and more activity in the lake stir up phosphorus sediments from the bottom of the lake and other nutrients that the algae feed on.
Exposure to toxic alga even in small amounts, can cause severe liver and neurologic toxicity in dogs. A dog exposed to toxic algae can also contract respiratory paralysis which can kill it within 30 minutes from the start of these symptoms: tremors, weakness, drooling, paralysis, muscle rigidity, involuntary urination and defecation, and seizures.
King County sent to the Department of Ecology to determine whether or not it is toxic. Until that happens, please keep your dog out of the water at Magnuson.
If you dog touched the water at Magnuson, make sure that they do not lick their fur and rinse them with clean water. Then, rinse your hands and any exposed skin. You should also watch it closely for signs of toxicity exposure and take it to a vet immediately if they show up.
What I’d like to know is why, after four days, no one from Seattle Parks and Recreation OR the Department of Ecology have issued a statement alerting the public to the potentially toxic algae at Magnuson. Normally we hear right away if the algae is in Green Lake.
Why didn’t anyone alert the public about the algae at Magnuson?
Why do we have to hear it on an obscure blog post from Seattle Children’s Hospital?