Blue Green Algae

By Barry Whitworth, DVM / Area Food/Animal Quality and Health Specialist for Eastern Oklahoma

This year an Oklahoma cattle producer in Payne County found seven dead cows and one dead deer in close proximity to a pond. The owner suspected something was wrong with the water. An analysis of the water was performed. “The analysis revealed that it was positive for blue-green algae and was above the lethal threshold,” according to Oklahoma State University Payne County Ag Educator Nathan Anderson.

This year there have been reports of similar unexplained deaths by ponds. This would not be much of a surprise if these had occurred in late summer, but this incident took place in early spring. This should be a warning to livestock producers to inspect ponds for blue-green algae accumulation when conditions are right no matter what time of the year it is.

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