Sloan’s Lake seeing potentially toxic blue-green algae

People and their pets should avoid contact with the water at Sloan’s Lake after public health officials found a potentially deadly blue-green algae.

Denver’s Department of Public Health and Environment posted warnings about the algae blooms Thursday after tests detected it in the water, the department said in a release.

Dogs are at the biggest risk if they drink the water or lick the algae off their fur, the release said, but it’s poisonous for cats, livestock, wildlife, birds, fish and humans, the release said. Symptoms include neurologic problems, liver failure and death.

Blue-green algae was linked to the deaths of multiple dogs in North Carolina and Georgia two years ago. A fish kill in the lake last year might also have been connected to the algae, one wildlife expert said.

The algae looks like pea-green paint or slime on the water’s surface and typically grows when the weather is above 75 degrees and sunny, the release said.

If a pet touches the algae, immediately rinse the animal off with fresh, clean water. People who touch the algae should immediately wash their hands with soap and water.

Pets can fall ill within minutes or days of ingesting the algae. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, weakness or staggering, drooling, difficulty breathing, convulsions or seizures, the release said.

The algae will likely remain in Sloan’s Lake for at least another month or until temperatures cool down, the release said.

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