We all love our pets and it is our responsibility to take care of them. Though we take good care of their health, sometimes it is not just enough, because a few things are out of our hands. But we sure can prevent or treat them in most cases. One such thing is mold toxicity.
Many pet owners are unaware of this term. But this can be a serious issue if neglected, especially for dogs. Molds are nothing but fungi. Fungi are a part of the ecosystem that usually helps in degrading the organic matter.
However, as they are ubiquitous in nature, meaning they are present everywhere, they can be harmful to your pet’s health. You can find molds both indoors and outdoors as they can literally grow at any place be it moist or warm environment.
Not only to your pet, molds if remain unchecked can cause serious issues in humans too. Therefore, it is always best to keep your house tidy and your surroundings as clean as possible. Your pet can not only be harmed by ingesting molds, but also by inhaling it.
Most of the pet owners may not know if their pet is sick due to mold toxicity. So to help them, we have listed 10 important signs that can be observed during mold toxicity. Do have a look at them.
1. Respiratory distress
The inhalation symptoms of mold toxicity occur when the mold passes into your pet’s body while breathing.
As it passes through the respiratory tract, it often causes issues related to respiration. Therefore your pet might be showing signs like difficulty while breathing or rapid breathing.
2. Nasal issues
As the first area that the mold passes through is your pet’s nose, it is usually the part that is first affected.
It shows signs like nasal discharge or pain in the nose. This condition is termed nasal aspergillosis. Nasal bleeding, swelling, sneezing and also a loss of appetite are other signs.
Apart from the above issues, ingestion of mold can cause harm to other body parts as well.
This is termed as disseminated aspergillosis and the pet may experience lethargy or laziness, inflammation of the bones, pain the spine, vomiting, fever and also weight loss. These results in weakening the immune system.
4. Gastrointestinal tract problems
The signs of mold toxicity also appear when the molds are ingested by your dog through their mouth, which means through food. So be aware of what your dog is eating inside and outside your house.
Mold ingestion shows sings related to GI (gastrointestinal) tract like vomiting, lack of appetite and changes in its stool.
If you observe your pet scratching too much, the first thing to need to look for is fleas and ticks.
If your pet does not have any and still seems to scratch excessively, then the next common issue would be mold toxicity. Your pet might have got exposed to mold externally and got an allergy due to it.
6. Skin sores
Due to the allergic reaction of the mold exposure, your pet’s skin gets irritated and it might constantly scratch the affected area.
Thereby, the skin in that area develops sores that might even bleed dues to excessive scratching.
The irritated area is always prone to itching and biting. Therefore, your pet always seems to lick or bite that particular area.
It is best to use a cone around our pet’s neck if possible and treat the affected area effectively.
8. Loss of fur
In case there is a loss of fur on a particular region on your pet’s body, it is possibly due to mold toxicity.
Loss of fur or hair is because of the excessive licking of the dog on its body. This condition is termed as lick glaucoma.
9. Runny eyes
Runny eyes may be a common symptom of body heat or dehydration for pets, but it is also a common sign of mold toxicity. So if you notice water coming from eyes or runny eyes in your dog, be sure to check for other signs of mold toxicity as well.
10. Nervous system problems
When the level of exposure to molds is extremely high in your dog by any means, then there are serious consequences to its healthy, especially related to the nervous system like seizures and tremors.
When ignored for a long time, it can even cause damage to the kidneys, liver and brain. Worse cases even lead to death in many pets.
Mold prevention for pets:
So make sure to always keep an eye on the things your pet is playing with and the packed or canned food it is eating. There are 5 different species of molds and each of them is equally harmful to your pet’s health.
There are high chances of your pet getting affected by mold toxicity either by licking it or inhaling it in their spore form. The molds contain substance called mycotoxins which can even lead to death of your pet in worst cases. However, the effects depend upon the level of mold exposure.
You must keep in mind that your pet might react differently to each of the ways it has been affected. It can be affected in 3 ways – by ingestion, by inhalation and by external exposure.
As you now know the extent of harm, mold toxicity can cause to your pets, it is high time for you to take necessary precautions to prevent it.
The basic measures you need to take are keeping your pet food sealed in a container in a cold and dry areas, washing the food and water bowls of your dog regularly, washing the toys of your pet once a week and also its bedding frequently and not letting it remain moist for a long time as there is a chance of mold growth.
So always keep an eye on what your pet is up to and make sure to always keep your house and the area where your dog stays clean and tidy. This way you can prevent mold toxicity.