The invisible toxin with potentially fatal consequences – Be vigilant

By Dr. Becker

Molds are neither plants nor animals: they are fungi that play a vital role in the ecosystem by biodegrading organic matter. However, some molds can cause serious health problems in animals that inhale or ingest them. Additionally, mold is everywhere. It can grow in any humid and warm environment, both indoors and outdoors. Mold can grow in everything from wet towels and drywall to windows and floors. Outdoors, it can be found in food thrown in the garbage, in rotting tree stumps, and in the soil.

Mold can easily be licked or spores inhaled wherever it grows. Toxic molds produce mycotoxins it can harm the health of humans and their pets. There are five species of toxic mold: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Fusarium, Aspergillus and Stachybotrys. Exposure to these molds can cause symptoms as mild as sneezing or coughing, up to neurological problems and death.

Symptoms of Toxic Mold Exposure in Pets

If your pet has been poisoned by toxic mold, it will be either through inhalation, ingestion or an allergic reaction.

  • Symptoms of inhaled mold include respiratory distress (difficult or rapid breathing), runny nose, coughing, wheezing, sneezing, lethargy and, in severe cases, bleeding from the nose and/or mouth.
  • Symptoms of Ingested Mold involve the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and include loss of appetite, vomiting, and stool changes.
  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction to mold include scratching, chewing, licking or biting itchy areas of the body, which may progress to skin sores and fur loss.

Some types of toxic mold also affect the nervous system, which can cause tremors and convulsions. Regardless of how your pet is exposed to toxic mold, if you don’t get help from a veterinarian as soon as possible, it can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, bones, spinal cord, and bone. brain.

Treatment for Mold Exposure

Treatment for toxic mold exposure in your dog or cat is primarily supportive and includes managing symptoms such as managing vomiting, difficulty breathing, and dehydration. If the mold was ingested, natural detoxifying agents such as glutathione, NAC, artichoke extract, milk thistle and SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) can be very beneficial.

Most animals who receive prompt veterinary care after exposure to toxic mold will make a full recovery. Obviously, preventing further exposure is key to keeping your pet safe and healthy in the future. It is therefore important to identify and eliminate or avoid all sources of potentially toxic mold.

Tips to Protect Your Pet from Mold

A good rule of thumb is to get into the habit of keeping everything your pet comes into contact with clean and dry:

  • Store pet food in an airtight container in a cold, dry place (freezer)
  • Wash food and water bowls at least once a day and throw away plastic tableware
  • Wash your pet’s bedding frequently and immediately if it becomes damp
  • Wash your pet’s toys once a week

Do not give your pet access to trash cans or any area where there may be moldy food or liquids. If he eats indiscriminately and has his nose to the ground when outside, you will need to monitor him closely and constantly when you pick him up. walks, hikes or at the dog park. Check your home for signs of mold growth on drywall, baseboards, floors and around windows. In humid weather, consider investing in a dehumidifier to discourage mold growth.

If you suspect mold growth in your home, you can either purchase a do-it-yourself testing kit or call a professional mold remediation service. If mold is discovered, it is a good idea to keep family members, including your pet, away from the area. In some cases, you may need to move your family or at least your pet to another location until the mold has been treated.

Outdoor mold you absolutely want to avoid

Blastomyces dermatitidis is an organism that grows in decaying wood and damp soil and can cause a systemic fungal infection called blastomycosis. This species of mold thrives in moist outdoor environments like swamps, lakes, and river banks, where moist soil and lack of direct sunlight favor its growth. The fungus is also found in places that harbor decaying organic matter, such as wooded areas, forests, and farms.

Blastomycosis infections are prevalent in areas near water, including the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, and Tennessee river basins. Infection is seen most commonly in large breed male dogs, and particularly in hunting dogs, sporting breeds, and dogs that spend a lot of time in environments where mold exists.

Female dogs can also be sensitive, of course, just like cats. Studies indicate that most animals that become infected with blastomycosis live within 400 meters of a body of water. Watch the following video for more information about this serious fungal infection, including methods of transmission, symptoms and treatment options:


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