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Dog health: Veterinarian warns of dangers of moldy food

by Bella Woof

Dogs can get excited about something and get sick because of it.

Veterinarian visits can be stressful for both dogs and owners, but there are ways to minimize them.

One of the major problems that veterinarians have to deal with is the disease caused by mold poisoning, which can leave dogs seriously ill and sometimes even fatal.

Sarah Bird of Dannevirke Vet Services.
Sarah Bird of Dannevirke Vet Services.

Sarah Bird with Dannevirke Vet Services says she has seen about three to four cases in the past year.

But what are mycotoxins and what can dog owners do to prevent them?

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According to one website, mycotoxins are “toxic substances produced by fungi and molds.”

These usually grow on rotting food, but can also be found in compost piles.

Sarah says the number is huge, and most likely will never be identified.

“The main cause we see in dogs is from moldy food,” she says.

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The number of cases that veterinarians are able to see cannot be predicted because “they tend to come in waves.”

“Summer is a risk factor because food tends to run out faster.”

There are several toxins that can affect the brain and cause seizures and muscle tremors in dogs.

“These can and sometimes do cause dogs to die,” Sarah says.

This disease usually leaves your dog very unwell and can be relatively short-lived, but dogs often stay in the hospital for at least two days and up to four days.

Often, that means monitoring the dog frequently to see if it has another seizure, she says.

Although it seems easy to prevent, if your dog is prone to getting into things, owners should be on the lookout for things that could potentially cause harm.

“[It’s] If you throw away moldy bread, be aware that you shouldn't do that because your dog might eat it. ”

Sarah says it's good that more people are composting, but owners also need to make sure their dogs don't have access to their compost piles.

How a veterinarian treats a dog depends on how much the dog ingested and how quickly the dog was brought in, she says.

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“If we can get the patient out fast enough, we can actually make them vomit, but what we usually do is put them under anesthesia and wash out their stomach. It's quite a procedure.”

According to Sarah, dealing with these cases is often very stressful for both the pet owner and the clinic staff. This is because when faced with a dog in full-blown seizures, veterinarians have to try to control the seizures. Decontaminate them or remove whatever is causing the seizures.

“You can leave it here for four days.” [and to] It's very difficult to try to give them the right medication with the drugs that we have in New Zealand at the moment. ”

She says some dogs are very energetic and recover quickly.

“It can take several months for them to recover properly. Unfortunately some pups die, and that's always very difficult for owners.”

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