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Mouldy Foods Big Problem for Dogs!!

September 5, 2012

A recent talk at the NZ Veterinary Conference described a condition known as Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis, a poorly described condition considered rare. The mycotoxins are poisons produced by fungi that cause severe life threatening convulsions in dogs after ingestion of mouldy food. There are very few reported cases of this condition yet the free ranging lifestyle of rural NZ dogs put them at particular risk. While very few vets at the conference were familiar with the condition most felt they may have seen it before.

To further highlight this point we have treated a further two dogs from separate incidents in the last fortnight, one dog after eating mouldy ham and another mouldy cream cheese. Treatment has been successful but is significant. The dogs had to be kept anaesthetized for between 12 and 24 hours after having their stomachs pumped. There do not seem to be any ongoing problems with them.

This condition would seem to be much more common than we realized. While mouldy cream cheese has been the most common cause identified, poisoning has occurred after eating mouldy walnuts, bread, pasta, rice, compost and general garbage.

The take home message is obvious!