Veterinary Toxicologist Warns of Blue-Green Algae Dangers

Health problems can arise when animals—including horses—and people come into contact with the various toxins produced by blue-green algae.
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blue-green algae toxicity in horses
Health problems can arise when animals—including horses—and people come into contact with the various toxins produced by cyanobacteria. | Photo: Courtesy Kansas State University

Summertime is known for its heat. Add some rainy days to the mix, and this combination can be the recipe for the development of blue-green algae, says a toxicologist at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, a part of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in Manhattan.

Also known as cyanobacteria, blue-green algae can bloom in fresh water where environmental conditions—warm weather, lots of sunlight and the presence of nutrients in the water, which often are the result of agricultural runoff—make it possible for these organisms to grow and replicate rapidly.

Steve Ensley, DVM, PhD, a clinical veterinary toxicologist at Kansas State, said health problems can arise when animals—including horses—and people come into contact with the various toxins produced by cyanobacteria

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