While we all know that mold can be harmful to our health, many of us neglect to realise these same health issues and more can be inflicted upon your beloved pet when they become regularly exposed to mold.

There is far less research on the impacts of mold exposure upon household pets. Still, the health effects mold can have on your furry friends can be far more severe than upon us humans. This makes sense when you consider the size difference between us and our pets. This means a small amount of mold exposure to humans can be the equivalent of a large dose to our pets.

What Pets can be Affected by Mold?
Nearly all pets can be affected by mold exposure:

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Gerbils
  • Hamsters
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Rabbits
  • Ferrets
  • Birds
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians

Signs your Pet is Suffering from Mold Exposure

Of course, the symptoms of mold exposure your pet may display will depend greatly upon their breed and type, but the symptoms listed below are considered the most common when it comes to mold exposure:

  • Reduction in appetite
  • An increase or decrease in drinking
  • Lethargy, often disinterested in playing or going for walks, or sleeping more
  • Scratching or licking themselves more than usual
  • Chewing on feet/paws
  • Hair loss
  • Sores on skin, rashes/broken skin
  • Wheezing or breathing that is labored
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Runny nose or eyes
  • Other signs of irritation

If you only notice one of these signs, or are unsure but notice your pet seems out of sorts, then always err on the side of caution and seek the attention of a vet. Remember, your pet is unable to verbally tell you they’re not feeling great, so taking notes of changes in their behaviour or habits is usually your most reliable sign that something is amiss.

What to do if you Expect your Pet is Suffering from Mold Exposure

If you think mold exposure is the cause of your pets illness, then visit your vet as soon as possible. Tell your vet what you suspect to help them to undergo the correct diagnostic procedures. If mold exposure is the case, then your pet may need medication such as steroids or antibiotics.

You should also check your home for sources of mold. Get down on your pets level and check the areas they spend most of their time. Also look behind furniture, under cupboards, and along skirting boards. Clean away mold where possible for you to do so. If the problem is severe, seek professional mold remediation. If it is affecting your pet, you and your household may be next.

When discussing treatment with your vet, discuss your living situation, as you may need to find your pet alternative accommodation until the mold is cleared. Even if your pet’s reaction isn’t too severe, it may be best to consider keeping them out of your home until the mold is resolved. No only will strangers in the home stress out your pet, but some types of removal can cause mold to spread, possibly making your pet sicker.