With hot weather in the forecast, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is warning of the potential for blue-green algae in Minnesota waters.
The algae thrive in hot weather and nutrient-rich waters, and it can be toxic to both animals and humans. It can cause severe illness and in some cases death.
So far this summer, the MPCA has not received any reports of dogs, other animals or humans being affected, according to a news release from the agency.
Most algae are harmless but can pose health risks under the right conditions. Blue-green algae blooms that are harmful often have a bad odor and have been described as pea soup, green paint or floating mats of scum.
Animals that ingest the toxins can have a variety of symptoms, including skin irritation; vomiting; circulatory, nervous and digestive problems; and severe skin lesions. They may also suffer convulsions and die.
Humans are rarely affected, probably because the unpleasant odor and appearance of a bloom keeps them out of the water.
There are no short-term solutions to handle a bloom. Once it occurs, the only option is to wait for significant rainfall, wind shifts or cooler temperatures to disrupt the algae growth.