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Is moldy food toxic to dogs?

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – I was cleaning out my kitchen and found some stale bread. I fed some to my dog who LOVED it. She hates a lot of it. Later – she started acting funny – shaking, having tremors, etc. I took her to the ER vet who blamed it on the mold. Is that possible?

William S.


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your dog ate some moldy food (moldy bread) and later began having tremors and shakes. Yes, that is possible. Some molds contain toxins – commonly referred to as mycotoxins. Medically – we refer to this problem as a "tremorgenic myotoxin". The food items most likely to grow mold after spoiling is bread products, potatoes, corn and beans. Most cases of this type of toxicity are dogs that are fed spoiled food or that get into the trash. Dogs allowed to roam also have more access to trash.

Most dogs will vomit then can have tremors, shaking and seizures. Signs can be begin within a few minutes of ingestion – often within 30 minutes.

The treatment is generally supportive care – including fluids and medications to control the shaking and seizures. Most dogs do recover within 24 to 48 hours with good medical care.

An article that might be helpful to you is Tremors/Shaking in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra



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