The weekly cyanobacteria advisories from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services don’t just apply to humans.
Granite State Dog Recovery relayed an alert on Facebook last week and received hundreds of responses. Cyanobacteria has become a hot topic nationwide after reports of dogs in North Carolina, Georgia and Texas dying after swimming in ponds containing toxic algae.
The latest alert from NHDES was issued Thursday for Jericho Lake in Berlin. According to the alert, an algae bloom with blue-green clouds was accumulating along the shoreline. Tested samples found cyanobacteria levels well above the state threshold of 70,000 cells per milliliter.
The bacteria, which occur naturally in water, can cause health issues ranging from minor skin irritation to vomiting, seizures and damage to the liver and nervous system.
“Be cautious of lake water that has a surface scum, changes colors or appears to have green streaks or blue-green flecks aggregating along the shore,” NHDES said in the alert.
NHDES advised people to avoid contact with the water in areas experiencing elevated cyanobacteria cell conditions and to keep their pets out of the areas.
Granite State Dog Recovery posted the alert to social media, along with a list of symptoms including: vomiting; diarrhea; blood in stool or black, tarry stool; disorientation; difficulty breathing; blue discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes.
The post also included earlier NHDES alerts for lakes and ponds in Henniker, New Durham, Hollis, Berlin, Tuftonboro and Sanborton.
Facebook followers were quick to respond. More than 380 comments could be seen by Sunday afternoon, and the post had been shared more than 3,000 times.
“It’s in NH too!” one commenter posted. Several others thanked Granite State Dog Recovery for sharing the information, which the state releases regularly throughout the summer.
Existing warnings can be found at: http://www4.des.state.nh.us/WaterShed_BeachMaps/