Are Your Pets Mold-Sensitive?

mold and petsThere are specialty veterinarians in Minneapolis, and around the country for that matter, for just about everything these days: doggie cardiologists, dentists, oncologists and more. A family friend of mine recently had their sweet pup pass away after a two-year battle with cancer. The dog was on chemo treatments almost the entire time and a slew of other medications. She had routine bloodwork done and received the same treatment and care as a human cancer patient would. All this to say – just like humans get cancer, so do dogs, and mold illness is no different.

In humans, we now know about the existence of something called Chronic Inflammatory Disease, or CIRS. Researchers believe about 25 percent of people are genetically predisposed to CIRS, which essentially means being exposed to mold can make them sick.

According to animal experts, black mold has been a problem for farm animals for some time, but just within the past decade awareness has grown about the effects on domestic pets as well. In 2007, a veterinarian determined black mold was responsible for the death of two cats – and the story made headlines. The cats were at the vet for routine teeth cleaning under anesthetic, but hemorrhaged and died.  Black mold produces mycotoxin which can damage the liver’s ability to help blood clot.

So, if you suspect you have mold in your home, but you aren’t exhibiting any symptoms, take a closer look at your furry friend for:

  • A runny nose & sneezing
  • Nosebleeds
  • Skin rashes or sores
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Of course, this blog isn’t meant to diagnose your pet with a mold illness, or determine if there is mold in your home. If you think your pet might be sick from mold in your home, seeing the vet is the best route. Or, have the pet stay with a friend or family member for a few days to see if the symptoms improve. Just as continued mold exposure can cause permanent respiratory system damage in humans; it can do the same to your pet.

What to Do About the Mold

If you do believe there is mold in your home and that is what is causing your pet or others in your household to be sick, calling in a professional to investigate is the best route. Companies like 24Restore can do a thorough inspection and determine if there is mold growth even in areas you can’t see. A simple mold test can identify if there are any airborne mold spores in your home.

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