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Cyanotoxins as a potential cause of dog poisonings in desert environments
  1. Aspassia D. Chatziefthimiou1,
  2. Renee Richer1,
  3. Hannah Rowles2,
  4. James T. Powell3 and
  5. James S. Metcalf3
  1. 1Weill-Cornell Medical College in Qatar, PO Box 24144, Doha, Qatar
  2. 2ParkView Pet Center Qatar LLC, Madinat Khalifa North, Doha, Qatar
  3. 3Institute for Ethnomedicine, Box 3464, Jackson, Wyoming 83001, USA
  1. e-mail: asc2006{at}

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SINCE the 19th century, fatal poisonings of domestic livestock, pets and wild animals have been attributed to cyanobacterial toxins through exposure to aquatic media (eg, lakes and reservoirs). However, cyanotoxin poisonings in terrestrial environments are an unknown. From November 2013 to March 2014, four dogs were taken to veterinarians in Doha, Qatar, showing signs of severe neurotoxicity after recreation in desert environments and consumption of rainwater accumulated in natural depressions (Fig 1).

FIG 1:

Dog consuming rainwater covering neurotoxin-producing cyanobacterial crusts in the Qatari desert, …

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