Friday, May 16, 2014

Veterinary Highlights: Antidote For Cyanobacteria Toxin?

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, is common in stale or stagnant water and is often found in ponds, lakes, reservoirs and other bodies of standing water.

Image Alan Wilson Auburn University

Dogs become poisoned with the toxins found in blue-green algae when they swim or drink from waters where a bloom has occurred.

The outcome of the poisoning is often fatal. There is no specific antidote available for any of these toxins. Or is there?

An experimental therapy saved the life of an Australian Shepherd, who was dying from microcystin poisoning.

Cholestyramine is drug that had allayed microcystin poisoning in rat studies, but had never been tested in dogs. The treatment works in two ways.

First, the drug enters the intestine and binds to bile salts attached to microcystin leading to their excretion instead of their recirculation to the liver, where the toxin causes organ failure. It has also been shown to strongly bind microcystin protect the liver, kidneys, and colon from harmful inflammation and disease.

One way or another, the Australian Shepherd, Anabelle, was on the mend the next day following treatment.

Source article:
Dog’s Worst Friend

Related articles:
Summer Perils: Blue-green Algae

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