Pet owners have been warned to keep their dogs away from Loch Earn in Perthshire after sightings of potentially lethal algae were confirmed.
The algae also poses a serious health hazard to people and they are being told not to come into contact with water at the loch.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued the warning at the weekend after confirming the outbreak.
Blue-green algae poses risks to public and animal health when it forms blooms and scums in freshwater during warm summer months.
A spokesman for SEPA said: “Blue green algae sightings in Loch Earn have been confirmed by SEPA officers following a site visit.
“People and pets are advised not to come into contact with the water.
“Blooms develop during the warmer months and can be quite common at this time of year.”
Report any findings
He added: “If you suspect blue-green algae, contact and follow advice provided by the local authority or contact our 24-hour pollution reporting line as soon as possible through our online form at www.sepa.org.uk/report.”
Reports can also be made via the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology ‘Bloomin Algae’ App which you can download HERE.
The spokesman said: “This provides a rapid and comprehensive picture of harmful algal blooms in your area and can help provide early warning to the public.”
In people, exposure to the toxins may cause skin rashes and more severe symptoms if swallowed.
Dogs at high risk
Dogs are at a higher risk if they drink the water or lick their coats after swimming.
In extreme cases, it may prove fatal or lead to severe symptoms requiring rapid vet treatment.
Loch Earn is a popular watersports centre famous for canoeing, paddle boarding and water skiing.
Pet owner Andrea Mclellan told last year how her beloved dog Benji died after being poisoned by blue green algae in the Lady Burn near her home in Cupar.