Several dogs die after drinking water from ‘toxic lake’ in East London

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Dog owners have been issued a warning after a number of animals died after drinking water from a “toxic lake” in East London.

Several animals died after drinking from the Highams Park Lake in Epping Forest, Chingford, which is said to be filled with toxic blue and green algae.

A statement on Highams Park News read: "Warning issued for Highams Park lake as Toxic algae found.

"The Council has been made aware of a number of dogs dying after (it is believed) they drank from Highams Park Lake.

"Post mortem results show the presence of a toxic Blue/Green Algae.

"The City of London Corporation, which manages Epping Forest, is warning visitors against swimming, fishing or taking dogs into the water at Highams Park Lake until testing for suspected toxic blue-green algae blooms have been completed."

It comes after animal welfare charities warned dog owners of toxic algae building in waterways during the heatwave last month.

Blue Cross charity said blue-green algae can produce harmful toxins which stop a dog’s liver from functioning properly.

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The charity said: “Exposure to toxic blue-green algae is often fatal, and can also cause long term health problems in dogs that survive after drinking or swimming in algae-contaminated water.

“Call your vet immediately if you suspect poisoning. Some types of blue-green algae can kill a dog just 15 minutes to an hour after drinking contaminated water.

"Dogs who have been swimming in water can get the algae caught in their fur, and can ingest it while cleaning themselves later on."

Common symptoms of algae consumption include vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures or fitting, unconsciousness, confusion, drooling and breathing difficulties.

“There is no antidote for the toxins produced by the bacteria, but if caught early enough, your vet will likely try to make your dog sick and attempt to flush the toxins from the body before they take hold,” the Blue Cross added.

In the UK, incidents of blue-green algae can be reported to the Environment Agency which has a 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.