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Algal Poisoning

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Etiology

Despite the latest human health food fad of eating blue-green algae, it is highly fatal if ingested by farm animals. It is usually a problem in warm, sunny weather. Simply killing the algae does not eliminate the toxin.

Symptoms

Signs begin to appear 15 to 45 minutes after ingestion and death can occur one to 24 hours later. Symptoms include: icterus (jaundice), abdominal pain, kick at belly, convulsions, cyanosis (blue skin and lips), drooling, excess watery salivation, dyspnea (shortness of breath), bloody feces, gets up and down, muscle contractions, photosensitization, prostration, sudden death, tremors.

Treatment

Activated charcoal and mineral oil. Animals may be very weak; handle with extreme care. Keep victims out of sunlight. Remove animals from infected water. May need glucose and/or calcium. Best to contact your veterinarian. If animal dies, do not use for food.

Prevention

Keep algae out of water sources, tubs, etc. and keep animals out of water that has algae in it, even though it looks fairly harmless.

Comments

Ducks are also very sensitive to blue-green algae. P>



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