Can Dogs Be Allergic To Mold?
An allergy to mold is one of the most common inhalant allergies in dogs and it’s likely that they will have more than one inhalant allergy, such as to pollen and dust. Mold thrives when there’s warmth and moisture, making many New York pre-war apartments the perfect breeding environment. This can lead to allergies in both humans and dogs, making them unwell. Good ventilation can help, along with recognizing symptoms and treating your pooch promptly, leading to a happy and healthy dog and owner.
Symptoms of a mold allergy
One of the first symptoms that dogs usually show when they have an allergic reaction to mold exposure is itchy, irritated skin. They may start to chew at their paws and other areas in an attempt to relieve itchiness, which can lead to fur loss and the skin going red and scaly. This can lead to secondary skin infections, chronic ear infections and smelly skin. You may also notice that they shake their head and ears, which is likely due to irritation.
Diagnosing the problem
Unless you have an obvious damp problem in your home, finding that mold is the cause of your dog’s symptoms can be difficult as mold is breathed in all year round, particularly at damp times of year, which New York has plenty of. If you start to notice any symptoms, take your dog to see their vet who will go through their medical history, diet, medication and anything that could cause a problem. They should also do an examination, focusing on the ears and skin, and may take blood, urine and skin scrapings. Some breeds are said to be more suceptable to mold allergies.
Signs Your Home May Be Affected By Mold
Your New York City apartment may be a home mold beyond the obvious shower mold that grows thanks to condensation and moisture. Less common signs that may indicate mold presence include: wooden floors (bonus points if they are warped), smelling mold, leaks from an neighbor above you seeping down into your ceiling, Clogged PTAC units, air conditioning units, broken washing machine hoses and many more according to the New York City Health Department guidelines.
Treating your poor pooch
Treatment depends on how severe the allergic reaction is and if the mold can easily be removed from your dog’s environment, such as at home, or if they’re sensitive to it and just breathing it throughout their day. Bathing with a hypoallergenic shampoo in lukewarm water can help to soothe skin and reduce the risk of infection. Medications can be used, such as antihistamines and corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, and Omega 3 supplements can help boost how the body responds to medication. Allergen injections can be used to gradually expose your dog to the allergen with the hope of desensitizing them to mold.
Treating your home
In NYC treating am apartment mold problem can cost between $8-$15 k depending on the size of the space. Regular maintence in terms of running a dehumdifier year round and having other air cleaning products and plants that clean the air can help with manage your mold issue.
Keep Your Dog Item’s Mold Free
In addition to treating the home environment and the pet, be sure to regularly wash their chew toys, bowls, and store dry dog food in an air tight container. Regularly washing bowls and not leaving toys outside on the porch/deck or in the basement for days at a time.
If your dog is prone to allergies, such as mites, dust or pollen, or you’ve successfully treated your dog for a mold allergy, you’ll want to take steps to prevent problems in the future. There are areas of your home that are more prone to mold growth, such as basements and humid bathrooms. Opening windows and using a dehumidifier can help with ventilation, as well as keeping rooms clear of mold and not letting your dog go in humid rooms.
As soon as you notice any symptoms in your dog you should take them to the vet straight away for professional advice tailored to your pooch, making sure that the problem isn’t left to get worse. Mold allergies can make your dog feel very unwell and it’s horrible seeing them like that, so prompt treatment is a must.
This article was contributed by Jane Wood. To be a contributor or have your pitch for a dog friendly or cat friendly product or service considered, please email cynthia@Newyorkdognanny.com.