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Mold and Pets

Just like humans, pets, including dogs and cats, can suffer from allergies.  Food allergies, drug allergies, and allergic responses to dust mites and mold can cause coughing, sneezing, runny noses, and itchy skin, also known as dermatitis, in our canine and feline counterparts.  As mold exists everywhere, and allergies can come from many sources, sometimes it’s necessary to isolate the cause of the allergy in order to treat it.  Veterinarians can assist pet owners with doing this.

The same measures taken for people can and should be taken for pets to create a more healthful environment for all.  Washing all bedding in hot water to kill dust mites, which feed on dry skin and dander, using a dehumidifier to eliminate the humidity that helps mold grow, using a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, and using a HEPA filter with forced air heating sources can greatly reduce the allergens within the home.

Pets that spend time outside can pick up mold spores, especially in autumn when levels of leaf mold are high as leaves fall and decay.  Regular mowing and raking can help to reduce leaf mold exposure.  For humans who are sensitive to mold, wearing a dust mask while raking and mowing is a good idea.  Showering and washing the hair after such chores will be beneficial as well, with mold spores going down the drain instead of onto upholstery and within bedding.  Regular brushing and bathing of pets that enjoy time outside should also be on the anti-mold to-do list.

Some forms of black mold can cause illness and even be fatal to people and pets.  Fortunately, cases of this are relatively rare but any home that has experienced serious water damage, such as occurs with flooding, should utilize the cervices of a professional and certified mold remediation company as those folks are trained technicians who can perform mold removal in accordance with EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency) guidelines.

Black mold at its worst can cause neurological damage and pulmonary hemorrhage.  Such hemorrhage was encountered in two Florida cats that began to bleed as they were anaesthetized for a veterinary procedure.  Both cats died and it was later determined that the home in which they lived had toxic mold growing within it as a result of storm-related water damage.  Not all black molds are toxic and not all pets and people will react as badly.  If there‘s even a question, mold remediation specialists can take samples and differentiate between toxic and non-toxic molds.

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