You’d think that mold affects humans only. Pets actually get sicker than humans after being exposed to virulent fungal spores. Their small body size and less advanced immune systems make them susceptible to mold-related conditions. Even slight exposure to mold can be devastating for your furry friends.
Mold is found pretty much everywhere pets like to spend time. It can be their snoozing area, the sunning spot by the windowsills, or their play area. Outside, they can get exposed to mold in rotten tree stumps, the soil itself, and decaying food. Fungal isolation studies done on the skin and hairs of dogs identified seven strains of mold. The top three were Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium.
If you’ve ever been in a situation where your dog or cat got exposed to mold but weren’t sure what ails it, chances are you sought the wrong treatment. Knowing the signs of mold exposure in pets can help you seek appropriate medical attention and avert life-threatening situations.
Signs of Mold Exposure in Pets
From time to time, pets come into contact with mold through environmental exposure or ingestion. Whatever the case, the reaction to mold exposure varies depending on the pet and method of exposure. Keep an eye out.
Spending time in moldy areas or sniffing mold leads to a number of respiration issues such as sneezing, labored breathing, coughing, and wheezing. Your pet might also have more nasal discharge than usual, which makes them lethargic, reluctant to play, and averse to active games. Bleeding from the nose and/or mouth may occur in advanced cases.
Dogs love to eat whatever they can find, even if it comes out of the trash. And while most times they are fine, ingesting moldy food is a whole other beast. Some of the symptoms to look out for include reduced appetite, stool changes, and vomiting. You might notice tremors and seizures if your pet ingests a lot of moldy food.
In most cases, your pet will have an allergic reaction to mold spores in the air. Consult a vet if you notice excessive scratching, chewing, and licking. Your pet might also have dry, scaly skin or skin inflammation. Unnatural skin odor could be a sign of exposure to black mold.
Mild mold signs are treatable in the short term. However, long-term exposure can lead to more severe symptoms such as:
- Tremors, seizures, and other neurological issues
- Serious digestive tract problems
- Organ damage
- Nasal aspergillosis
Treating Symptoms of Mold Exposure in Pets
You need to see a vet immediately if you notice symptoms of mold exposure in your cat or dog. Arranging for your pet to stay with a friend prevents continued exposure and ensures that the symptoms don’t worsen. The vet will most likely prescribe medication to treat the symptoms. You may also be asked to isolate your pet from other pets.
Mold is more than a nuisance to your home and pets. Since they multiply and spread fast, removing them from your home should be a top priority as well. Make sure your pet and loved ones are out of the house during the removal process as there will be too many mold spores floating around the air.
Stop Mold from Invading Your Home
There are several steps you can take to prevent mold infestation and to protect your pets. For starters, any area that is prone to moisture such as the bathrooms should be well ventilated and kept dry. Keep an eye out for leaky pipes and condensation on windows and doors.
In case your crawl space floods after a heavy downpour, clear out the water and dry the area. It’s a good idea to invest in a sump pump for flood protection. Check the crawl space and foundation for any signs of leaks and have them fixed right away. Better yet, invest in professional waterproofing services.
Mold Prevention is the Best Cure
If you are anything like us, you love your pet just as much as any family member. Making sure pets don’t come to harm due to mold infestation should be a top priority. You can do this by cutting off moisture, one of the factors that promotes mold growth.
Florida Foundation Authority offers waterproofing services that help you create a dry and mold-free home. Our solutions are industry-approved and built to last. Get in touch today to get your free inspection and repair quote along with recommendations to keep mold at bay.