Blue algae may have killed dog at Wigan beauty spot

People are being urged to keep their dogs away from water sources which could contain potentially lethal blue-green algae
People are being urged to keep their dogs away from water sources which could contain potentially lethal blue-green algae

A fresh warning about toxic algae has been issued to pet owners across the borough following concerning reports that a dog died after swimming at a beauty spot.


Visitors to Red Pond, in Worsley Mesnes, are being urged to keep their dogs away from water sources which could contain potentially lethal blue-green algae.

The warning comes after reports of a dog dying from kidney failure just hours after swimming in the water.

According to a friend of the owner, the mastiff went swimming as there were no warning signs in place, but fell ill just hours later and died the next day.

It is currently unknown whether the blue-green algae was the confirmed cause of death.

Wildlife lovers have also shared concerns that swans and wildfowl have fallen victim to the poisonous substance, stating that a number have died in recent weeks.

Earlier this summer, borough veterinarian practice My Pets Vets Ltd, which has surgeries in Lowton and Leigh, urged animal lovers to be careful when taking their pets swimming in lakes and ponds.

The practice has already highlighted the presence of blue-green algae, which can have harmful and even life-threatening effects if swallowed.

They took to Facebook to give their advice for dog owners when out and about in nature, saying: “As you’ve probably already noticed, around this time of year you can see green flakes or bundles in freshwater ponds and lakes that resemble algae.

“However, some people are not aware that these can be very dangerous to their pets.

“Signs of intoxication include drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, disorientation, weakness, seizures and breathing difficulties.”

Penny McGinty, assistant director of corporate contracts and assets at Wigan Council said: “A site visit today has confirmed that there is a very localised pocket of blue-green algae in a reed bed at Scotman’s Flash.

“There is no public access to this area. The water is shallow and not circulating which is the reason why the blue-green algae has grown here. The area is checked regularly and it has not been spotted previously.

"We are now dealing with it as a priority for signs to be put up to warn people to avoid contact with the water and we advise dog owners not to let their pets access the affected area. We will be informing the Environment Agency for their information.

“We extend our condolences to the family of the dog who recently passed away.”