Beware: Toxic Mold and Pets

Toxic mold: Pets are at risk too.

Toxic mold is a scary thing. We all shudder to think of it in our homes, especially after hearing about the many health risks it can pose to ourselves and our families.

Stories circulate about people dying or coming close to it from having mold spores in their lungs, or having long-term respiratory damage or other health issues.

Mold in the home is extremely dangerous. While we consider the side effects and symptoms that toxic mold might present in humans, many people do not know that toxic mold can hurt or kill pets as well.

Any of This Sound Familiar?

Have you noticed that your dog or cat is exhibiting strange symptoms with no explanation? Have they been scratching themselves or chewing on their extremities or at their skin?

If your pet is exhibiting symptoms such as extreme lethargy, breathing problems such as wheezing, coughing or struggling to aspirate, bleeding from the nose and disruption in regular eating habits, your pet may be suffering the symptoms of black mold exposure.

This is very dangerous both for your pet and for you. If you have noticed these behaviors in a dog or cat, think about any symptoms you may be exhibiting as well, check your home for black mold, and take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Mold Can Harm Your Pet

For a long time, it was not entirely clear to veterinarians or scientists whether black mold exposure would have the same detrimental effect on house pets that it does on human beings. Within the past few years though, some specific cases have shed light on the fact that toxic black mold can indeed both harm and kill pets.

Only recently, a vet specialist in Florida was doing a routine procedure on two felines. During the procedure, the specialist observed frothy blood in the tubes with which the anesthetic was administered, therefore stopping the procedure out of concern. Unfortunately, both of these cats passed away. After their deaths, blood was taken from their body to be tested in order to determine the cause of death — toxic black mold had caused both cats to die of pulmonary hemorrhages.

Health Risks

There are quite a few potential risks caused by toxic black mold in the home where pets are concerned.

Respiratory difficulties and illnesses are among the most notable and most concerning side effects of black mold poisoning. Whether the animal is suffering from what seems like a minor respiratory difficulty or serious lung trauma, the capillaries within the lungs are being weakened. The black mold puts these capillaries under duress, causing them to rupture, hemorrhage and eventually lead to the death of the animal.

How to Protect Your Pet

If you are concerned that you have black mold in your home, even if you are not sure, it is important to immediately take all of your pets to the vet if even one begins exhibiting symptoms of toxic black mold poisoning.

If your dog or cat appears to be in any form of respiratory distress, seems lethargic in a way that is out of character for the pet, bleeds from the nose or avoids regular feedings, these symptoms should be taken very seriously.

Be sure to get medical attention for your pets and have your home thoroughly investigated for black mold for the safety of you, your family and your beloved animals.

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This featured contribution was written by Helen Marino, who works with Moldbusters, a Long Island mold removal company. Photo by Joanna Bourne/Flickr.

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From Around the Web

  • Cynde

    i have a little ‘mold’ concern in my shower…so i try to keep my 7 month old kitten away. i just hope that’s enough! i

    Since reading this article, I’ve been paying close attention to his behavior.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BetrayedbyLove Tara Morgan

    I have 4 cats and one went into hiding cannot find her and I think it’s because she might have gotten sick because I have black mold my home and nobody wants to help me get rid of it not only are they suffering but so Am I….

  • Mold sucks

    The problem is, no one wants to take black mold seriously. The health department washes it’s hands of it. There are no laws protecting us from it. It’s sad.
    So what can we do???

  • Asiyah

    I have black mold in my apartment and I already have breathing issues. I have two cats they may have been exposed too.

  • Dan Brave

    If I can help in anyway please ask. http://WWW.EXPERTMOLDTEST.COM

  • micaela6955

    I know I have mold in my home, I’ve developed lung issues due to it. My cats are now sneezing & one has developed asthma like symptoms it really stinks, but mold remediation is so expensive and most insurances won’t cover it. Wish I had known when I purchased my house that my house had mold… but where else will I live? :( it’s not so bad upstairs where I have been spending time in the bedroom… but with forced hot air heat and winter coming soon (and mold spores coming up from the wet basement which we fixed but can’t get rid of the mold!) it is not going to be a good winter for me or my family and pets.