Kerry County Council is now erecting warning signs along the shore of Lough Leane in the Killarney National Park after tests confirmed the presence of blue-green algae.

Council staff conducted the water tests after Kerry vet Danny O'Sullivan issued a blue-green algae warning to farmers.

O'Sullivan told the Irish Farmers Journal he treated a convulsing dog at his clinic with symptoms typical to that of the cyanobacteria.

Blue-green algae is a bacteria that is commonly found in large bodies of water that, for the most part, lie dormant and are of no risk to animal or human health.

However, during periods of increased temperatures, this strain of cyanobacteria can multiply and appear as a scum on the water’s surface.

O'Sullivan explained that “after the animal has consumed the contaminated water, they can begin convulsing within 20 minutes”.

There is a very short time window to flush the bacteria from their system

“The dog presented to us had previously been in full health, with no prior health complications, but unfortunately died within a couple of hours of stopping to take a drink while on a walk at Killarney National Park.”

“If an animal does come in contact with water contaminated with the bacteria, there is a very short time window to flush the bacteria from their system.”

Blue-green algae. \ Danny O Sullivan

Precautionary signage has been erected at locations along the shore of Lough Leane to warn locals of the lethal bacterial scum.

Dogs on leads

As a precaution, members of the public should ensure that dogs are kept on leads and not allowed to enter the water.

A spokesperson for the council said “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”.

Read more

Vet issues blue-green algae warning to farmers

Pesticide breaches increase by over 86%

Good practice is fundamental when using farm herbicides and pesticides