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Warning after dog becomes ill following a swim in algae at Sanquhar pond, Forres


By Garry McCartney

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Sanquhar Working Group has cleared a walkway past the old pond from Sanquhar Road to Forres Academy playing fields.
Sanquhar Working Group has cleared a walkway past the old pond from Sanquhar Road to Forres Academy playing fields.

A GROUP of volunteers is reminding dog walkers to be wary of blue-green algae in water their pets might paddle in.

Sanquhar Working Group spokesman Brian McDonald has responded to a report of a dog becoming ill after swimming in the “old” pond at Sanquhar, opened up by the team earlier this year.

He said: “Until we know if the algae there is indeed dangerous, dog walkers should exercise extra diligence. It’s a naturally occurring phenomenon and unfortunately I know of no way that it can be treated or whether or not it should be attempted.”

Algae in still water at Sanquhar.
Algae in still water at Sanquhar.

Blue-green algae, or ‘cyanobacteria’ is a type of bacteria that looks like algae when it clumps together. It forms in water such as rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. Unlike true algae, some types of blue-green are toxic. It tends to grow in still or slow-flowing water in warm water, meaning ponds and lochs are more likely to have it. It can also grow in flooded areas where the water has stood for some time.

The substance can look like green or blue-ish scum and can turn water cloudy, giving it a green, blue-green or greenish-brown appearance.

A run-off from the old, smaller pond at Sanquhar.
A run-off from the old, smaller pond at Sanquhar.

Dogs exposed to toxic algae can become very ill quickly so it is advised not to let them swim in or drink from any water that might have it in it.

Brian said: “We’re hoping to introduce warning signs to Sanquhar but dog owners should exercise caution when near any water that appears to have green algae.”



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