TESTS conducted along the shores of Lough Leane in Killarney have confirmed the presence of a blue-green algae which has the potential to form a lethal algal scum that can poison animals, it can be confirmed.
Kerry County Council is today erecting warning signs to advise members of the public of the possible threat to small animals.
Tests were carried out following a KillarneyToday.com report of the death of a dog that had been in the water in the park at Knockreer.
Killarney man John Lyne was walking his five-year-old Westie, Fletcher, when he removed the leash to allow the dog to sip from the River Deenagh opposite St Mary’s Cathedral.
The dog became seriously ill and died within hours and vet Danny O’Sullivan said it displayed the classic symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning which has been a real problem in the park in Killarney over the years.
Following the taking of samples by council staff in recent days, laboratory tests confirmed the presence of a blue-green algae.
In accordance with protocols, precautionary signage has been erected at locations along the shore of Lough Leane and those who frequent the shoreline are being advised to exercise caution.
The council said that, as a precaution, members of the public should ensure that dogs are kept on leads and not allowed to enter the water.
“Daily inspections of the shoreline will take place and further samples will be taken as required. The situation is being monitored closely on an ongoing basis by Kerry County Council,” a spokesperson said.
The heartbroken dog owner who watched his dog die an agonising death had appealed to the authorities – through KillarneyToday.com – to erect signs warning the public of possible dangers to prevent it happening to other dogs.
“I would not like to see any other dog suffer that kind of death. I’m very broken up over this,” said John Lyne.
Symptoms of algae poisoning include convulsions, muscle tremors, diarrhoea and vomiting.
“The algae can be lethal – the dogs don’t even have to drink it but if they lick their coats after entering the water, it can kill them,” vet Danny O’Sullivan said.
A major outbreak of the toxic bloom in 2016 on the lake shore in Killarney has been linked to the deaths of a number of dogs.
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