Mold and its effects on humans are well known however some may not be aware that mold in your home adversely affects your pets too! Recently, studies have documented that dogs, cats, and other small animals are even more susceptible than humans due to their less complex immune systems. Our pets rely on us to make sure they have a healthy environment in which to live and thrive and with the typical life span of more than 10 years for the average dog or cat, the long term and continual exposure to mold can be extremely harmful to our pet friends.
As in humans, pets can inhale floating mold spores in the air as well as digest mold on spoiled food. Both can have serious health risks and the signs of each are important to know.
Mold spores that are airborne and inhaled can cause:
- rapid breathing
- nasal discharge
- bleeding from the nose or mouth
Mold ingested through food can cause:
- digestive problems
- loss of appetite
- stool changes
- gastrointestinal tract damage
Some animals may have allergic-type symptoms such as excessive scratching, chewing, or licking that can lead to fur loss or sores. All of these can mimic other health concerns or conditions so make sure to take your pet to a veterinarian for a complete evaluation immediately when noticing any of the above, but be sure to discuss the possibility of hidden mold in your home as sometimes this cause maybe overlooked.
Mold is common to grow in dark, warm, and damp places such as crawlspaces and attics. It can be found in insulation, drywall, behind or underneath floors and carpets. It also grows on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products as well as fabric and upholstery. If you think there could be a leak or your home has experienced water damage from heavy rains or floods, there is a high possibility that mold has already started to grow.
Pets will find and eat food left anywhere in the home – the below picture is cat food the homeowner left in a coffee cup while away on vacation that leads to airborne mold spores covering almost the entire house when tested.
If you think there could be a mold issue in your home or you want peace of mind of your indoor air quality, it is best to contact a certified professional to perform sample tests as well as to conduct a complete evaluation of the property for any moisture issues or water leaks that can cause mold to grow.
At Coastal Air Assessments, we work our way from the outside in, first identifying potential issues at the exterior of the home that could be causing poor air quality inside the home. Our Mold Assessments and Air Sampling Tests are timely, accurate, and a true asset for Florida homeowners. Contact us today for your free consultation.