With summer approaching, there are some serious pet threats to avoid. For those of you who spend time along the Gulf of Mexico, one of them is red tide.
This phenomenon is caused by a minute species of algae that blooms in coastal waters at the whim of certain currents and wind shifts. These dense algae populations release toxins that can kill fish and marine mammals — like dolphins and manatees — and notoriously poison shellfish normally found on summer menus.
Red tide often irritates the skin and respiratory tract of people and their pets. It can also cause neurologic deficits, like tremors, loss of balance and seizures. Make it a habit to rinse your dog after he goes in the water and don’t let him play in sea foam or go near dead fish. Finally, birds — as well as pets with asthma — should steer clear of red tide beaches altogether.