Thousands of dogs get food poisoning each year from ingesting stuff they shouldn’t, like pills and plants. While most pet poisons are easy to identify and keep your dogs away from, some aren’t. Certain types of food that may be dangerous to your pet pooch might seem safe at first glance.
A good example of this is moldy food. It’s extremely dangerous to pets and can cause some severe food poisoning effects. That’s why it’s essential for pet owners to be educated on the effects of moldy food and how to identify it.
What Is Food Mold?
Food mold is often referred to as Penicillium spp, and it’s a type of fungus that grows naturally and gradually. It’s easy to spot moldy food by the green splotches and spots it leaves on food, and it can make your pet extremely ill if it ingests it.
It’s easy enough to keep your pets from eating moldy dog food because it’s easy to spot and keep your pet away from it. But, the problem arises when your pet starts going through your garbage can. Your pet may also come across moldy food from eating tree nuts and fruits that have fallen to the ground. Once your dog ingests moldy food, it will get sick due to the fungal neurotoxins present in the mold.
How Does It Affect Dogs?
You’ll know your dog has ingested mold if it shows one or a combination of these symptoms:
- Muscle tremors
- A spike in body temperature
These symptoms will happen within the first 24 to 48 hours of your pet, consuming the contaminated food and can last for that long as well. Left untreated, your pet’s condition can be fatal. Your dog must receive treatment to keep it hydrated and cool while keeping the tremors under control.
To avoid all that, you need to be extra vigilant with your pet and try by all means to keep it from eating moldy food. This means keeping an eye on your pet even when it’s outside and monitoring its play and activities at all times.
How to Diagnose Moldy Food Poisoning
The best way to identify mycotoxin poisoning in pets is to think back on what it has been ingesting. If you can recall the moldy food that your pet ate and bring a sample of it to your vet, you’ll make it easier for it to prescribe the right treatment for your pet.
Most mycotoxins rarely come with obvious diagnostic markers. But, aflatoxins usually show up in the bloodstream through compromised liver function. Your vet will likely perform further lab tests on your dog’s stomach and on the contaminated food to determine the cause. In most cases, it’s usually mycotoxin toxicosis.
Contact A Local Veterinarian
The vet may also perform additional tests to rule out alternative causes like amphetamines, hydrocarbons, ethylene glycol, and other substances that can cause similar symptoms. It’ll also be helpful to your vet if you can recall a recent history of all your dog’s activities.
Lastly, if you ever notice your dog eating moldy food, make sure to contact the vet immediately. Even if your dog isn’t showing any symptoms after, you should still have it checked.
As they say, ‘prevention is better than cure’, so you’ll do well to minimize the risk of your dog consuming moldy food and contaminated items. You can do this by keeping an eye on your dog when it’s playing outside and buying a dog-proof trash can. That way, you’ll have a peace of mind knowing that your dog has no access to potentially dangerous substances.