Black Mold Poisoning in Cats

Black mold poisoning was first documented in 2007 when a veterinarian noticed unusual symptoms in a couple of his feline patients on which was performing a dental procedure. The cats died soon after being treated. The cause of the cats' deaths were not the veterinarian's fault as blood tests done on the cats before they died revealed toxic black mold in their systems. The black mold is believed to have been the cause of their deaths. Mold is not just an unattractive substance one may find in their home, it is a substance that can cause toxicity and death in cats.

An Overview of Black Mold

Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is known to cause illnesses in humans, but it was not until the unfortunate incident with the two cats did people in the animal care community learn that the spores were harmful in felines. The home in which the cats lived had water damage a couple of years prior to their deaths. The water damage was not properly remediated and mold began to grow in the home, which poisoned the cats.

Mold loves humidity and thrives in damp locations. Black mold contains myotoxins, a liquid or gas compound that is secreted. The toxins released by mold are known to be one of the most deadly chemicals on the planet. Mold growth can be prevented by making sure property that has gotten wet is thoroughly dried. If there is mold damage to a home, the mold must be killed (even if that means calling specialists) so it does not continue to grow and further destroy property and the lives of those in the house. 

Black Mold Poisoning in Cats

Symptoms of black mold poisoning in cats may present themselves as allergy symptoms: coughing, wheezing, red or tearing eyes, and a lack of energy. Black mold can also suppress a cat's immune system, causing him to fall ill more often than most cats would. Black mold is especially dangerous because its spores will invade a cat's lungs and weaken the capillaries within it. When the capillaries are weak, they burst and cause internal bleeding in the lungs. The result of a pulmonary hemorrhage in a cat is death, which can be prevented by the timely remediation mold damage.

The onset of a pulmonary hemorrhage in cats can be brought about more quickly in a cat that's very active or under anesthesia as this causes the lungs to be under more pressure. Therefore, pet owners are advised to let a veterinarian know about any mold growth (or suspected mold growth) so the proper precautions can be taken before any anesthesia is administered. Veterinarians whose practices are in areas of high humidity are advised to test for black mold before putting any cat under anesthesia.

A little cleanliness and prevention go a long way, especially when it comes to pet health. In order to protect their pets and family, a homeowner should take precautions against black mold growth and take swift actions to eliminate it.