Toxic Mold Affects Pets After Hurricane in NY NJ CT

In the Sept. 1, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Assn., which outlines what is believed to be the first documented case of toxic black mold poisoning in pets.  Before this there were no documented cases of toxic mold affects pets after hurricane in NY NJ CT

A veterinarian was performing routine dental procedures on two healthy, indoor Himalayan cats — examinations conducted prior to the dental cleanings showed no indications of illness — when he noticed a frothy blood within the endotracheal tubes used to supply anesthesia to the two cat siblings. Blood collected prior to the cats’ death was tested and showed the presence of the toxin produced by Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as toxic black mold, which can cause respiratory-related health problems, pulmonary hemorrhage and death in people.

The Vet suspected mold because they live in an area that had been devastated by hurricane Sandy. After questioning the pet owners, the Vet found out that their home had sustained water damage during the hurricane in October, seven months prior to the development of pulmonary hemorrhage. The vet asked the pet owners to check their home for mold. “Sure enough, they had very severe mold contamination in their walls,” The walls have since been gutted and replaced.

Although toxic black mold poisoning in pets has never been documented before, the vet suspects that this is not the first case. It’s possible that the symptoms have been there, which can range from mild respiratory disease to pulmonary trauma, but was attributed to other things, he says. There’s also no commercial test available, he adds.

Pet owners should ask there vets about mold, especially those in high-risk environments.

“I think the most important thing is for clients to be aware of things in their environment that could potentially impact the health of animals,” he says. “They need to let their veterinarian know.”