Park loch's toxic threat to pets

North Lanarkshire Council has warned dog owners to keep pets out of the water at Strathclyde Park loch after an outbreak of toxic algae.

Uddingston woman Marie Rodwell posted on Facebook that her dog Jaxon fell seriously ill after swimming in the loch, requiring emergency vet treatment.

She said she was warned that if the medication the dog was prescribed didn’t work within 48 hours he would have to be put on a drip.

Toxic algae blooms are a recurring menace in Scottish lochs and reservoirs, with outbreaks recently reported on Loch Lomond, Linlithgow Loch and Milngavie Reservoir in East Dunbartonshire.

In common with other local authorities facing the same problem North Lanarkshire Council has posted warning signs around the loch in Strathclyde Park,

The toxic blooms are also dangerous to humans if contacted or ingested, but at this time of year only pets are likely to be in the water.

A council spokesman said: “Please do not allow your dogs to enter the water at Strathclyde Park.

“This is due to the natural occurrence of blue-green algae in the loch.

“Blue-green algae occurs when temperatures are consistently warmer than usual or when there is little wind and rain, as has been the case in recent weeks.

“There is no way to prevent it but we monitor water quality and put warning signs up when algae is above normal levels.

“The naturally-occurring algal scum can be harmful to health due to toxins released into the water and Scottish Water has installed signs advising people to take precautionary measures.”