Symptoms of Mold Exposure in Pets

David J. Allen

I spent the better part of 2 ½ years learning about mold and indoor air quality because my child's life depended on it. Now I help others avoid ever having to experience the same thing. The mold industry suffers from conflicting opinions and I do my best to distill loads of data into something practical and useful. I love hearing from and helping readers. • "A house desecrated by mildew, mold, or fungus would be a defiled place to live in, so drastic measures had to be taken." — Leviticus 14:45

Most homeowners are aware that mold can be harmful to their health, but few consider the possibility of the fungus affecting their pets.

Not only can mold exposure be a danger to your pets’ wellbeing, but your furry friends may even be more susceptible to mold-related illness than humans.

Unfortunately, unless your name is Dr. Doolittle, your dogs and cats won’t be able to tell you when something doesn’t feel right. So, if you have pets, it’s imperative that you learn the indicators that they’ve been exposed to mold—especially if you’ve had a recent run-in with the fungus anywhere in your home.

Most Common Signs of Mold-Related Illness in Your Pets

Because there are a wide variety of symptoms that an animal may show when they’ve been exposed to mold, the problem isn’t always an easy one to diagnose.

That’s why it’s so important that you regularly check your home for mold growth. If you’re unaware that you have a mold infestation, you may not realize that the symptoms your pet is displaying are a product of mold-related illness.

However, if you’re aware of your household fungus problem, it will be much easier to make the connection when your dog or cat starts acting strangely.

The most common symptoms you’re likely to see are respiratory issues. If they’ve inhaled a significant amount of mold spores, your pet may start wheezing or breathing loudly or heavily.

In many cases, they will begin sneezing or coughing, too. It’s also common to see a runny nose or a discharge coming from the animal’s eyes. If you notice several or all of these symptoms, there’s a high likelihood that your pet has been exposed to mold.

Sometimes, an animal that’s experiencing mold-related illness will start behaving strangely. They may begin scratching things frequently, licking or chewing on their paws, or rubbing their face on the floor or furniture.

You may also observe that your pet is vomiting or having stool irregularities. They will sometimes start shaking their head back and forth, which indicates that their ears are in pain.

Finally, it’s common for mold-affected pets to become lethargic or lose their appetites.

What Do You Do If Your Pet Has Been Exposed To Mold?

Although it’s hard to think about your beloved animals suffering, there is good news: If your pet is suffering from mold exposure, there’s a very good chance that they’re going to be just fine.

If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, the first thing you should do is get your animal to the vet, regardless of whether or not you know of an existing mold problem in your home.

Depending on the severity of the illness, your veterinarian may prescribe some kind of medication, such as steroids or antibiotics. Otherwise, the treatment will be mainly focused on supportive care for your pet.

If they’ve suffered any gastric distress during their illness, they may receive IV fluids to restore their hydration.

If your vet deems it necessary, your animal may need to stay overnight at the clinic, potentially even for a few days.

The other important measure you need to take is to handle your household mold problem. Whether you’re aware of it or not, your pet suffering from mold-related illness is essentially a guarantee that the fungus is growing somewhere in your home. Ideally, you should hire reputable mold remediation professionals to come visit the property.

They’ll most likely be able to discover the problem, remove the infestation, and take effective measures to make sure that it doesn’t come back.

If at all possible, you should keep all of your pets out of the house until the remediation service has been completed.

Once your home is free of the harmful fungus and your little companion has recovered, they can return to their home and resume a healthy, peaceful life.

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