What are Mycotoxicosis?
Mycotoxicosis (Tremogenic Toxins) is proving to be yet another reason humans should not feed dogs human food. Fungi found on food contaminants, such as moldy bread, cheese, and English walnuts can be transmitted to dogs. Garbage and any decomposing items found in a backyard may also be the cause of mycotoxicosis spreading.Mycotoxins are extremely toxic to canine and are usually the result of human interaction. Mycotoxins will cause severe illness and even death if consumed and left untreated. Act with haste if you notice any of the below symptoms in your dog as taking a wait and see approach can and will result in a fatal outcome if mycotoxicosis is to blame.
Book First Walk Free!
Symptoms of Mycotoxicosis in Dogs
The effects of mycotoxins with dogs overall are:
- Inability to grow to full size
- Immunosuppression (suppression of natural immune responses)
- Higher likelihood of death
Other symptoms may vary depending on the dog, including:
- Ataxia (inability to coordinate voluntary muscular movements)
- Intestinal hemorrhage
- Itchy skin
- Kidney damage
- Oily, scaly skin
- Odor (foul)
- Polydipsia (excessive or abnormal thirst)
- Polyuria (excessive urination)
- Reproductive changes
- Slight salivation
- Tenesmus (urge to evacuate the rectum or bladder)
- Weight loss
Malassezia may appear to look the same, but depending on how far along it goes unnoticed, it can spread easily and lead to other diseases. It may be found in:
- Anal sacs
- Ear canal
- Interdigital area (between toes)
Dogs of all breeds can end up with yeast infections, but these particular breeds tend to suffer from it the most:
- Basset Hounds
- Cocker Spaniels
- English Setters
- German Shepherds
- Shih Tzus
- West Highland White Terriers
Causes of Mycotoxicosis in Dogs
Unlike many other infections, Malassezia tends to look for the dog instead of the dog seeking it out. Yeast shows up during humid, summer months and hangs around until the fall. Any time a dog is at risk of other infections, or hereditary diseases then yeast will try its best to get near their weaker immune systems.
Although oily skin (sebum), skin infections (bacterial dermatitis) and allergies are commonly linked to yeast infections, yeast can also make its way to a dog via ear wax (cerumen). Antibiotics may lower the dog's risk of being able to stay away from yeast, too. Muzzles that are on too tight may also expose a dog to yeast poisoning risk.
The region in which the dog is located may also make the difference. Something as simple as inhaling spores could lead to yeast poisoning and infections.
Diagnosis of Mycotoxicosis in Dogs
If a dog shows any of the symptoms above, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately. The chances are high that the yeast will spread rapidly so the veterinarian will be able to spot its region quickly. A veterinarian will look for a possibly infected area, then choose from a variety of ways to inspect it under a microscope. This could be from using transparent tape to apply and remove potential yeast, or scraping and swabbing yeast away to get a better look at it.
Dog owners should be aware that yeast can grow on healthy albums, in addition to those who may be at risk of infection, so a cause may be debatable. Inhaling spores or fiddling with bird droppings could create the same yeast poisoning issues as a dog with an illness. The results under the microscope will be able to identify what type of yeast it is: Aspergillosis, Blastomycosis, Cryptococcus, Histoplasmosis or Coccidiomycosis.
Treatment of Mycotoxicosis in Dogs
Yeast and fats (lipids) need to be immediately removed from the dog to avoid yeast spreading. A veterinarian will recommend chlorhexidine or ketoconazole shampoos or shampoos with benzoyl peroxide and sulfur are an option. Selsun Blue shampoo is a possibility to get rid of Malassezia, but on an individual basis, it may irritate the dog more.
If yeast is in the beginning stages and miconazole has not been able to spread a lot, miconazole cream may be a recommendation for the pet owner to apply to the infected two times per day for multiple weeks. Dogs with severe cases or those who are resistant to the cream will not be able to utilize this option. Fluconzole, itraconazole or oral ketoconazole may be used as an alternative.
Pet owners, and their dogs will have to patient while waiting for results. It can be one to two weeks before yeast poisoning goes down or goes away altogether. Continue to utilize whatever products were recommended, up to five weeks. However, due to toxins within the products, pet owners should follow the exact amount of days and times given by a veterinarian to avoid hazardous side effects and additional expenses should another infection occur during the healing process of yeast poisoning.
The same goes for ear cleaners, should the yeast be related to ear wax. Cleaning the ears one to two times per day, or using acetic or boric acid, will help to maintain the pH needed to reduce yeast growth. Topical medications with nystatin, thiabendazole or clotrimazole can be used after the ear is dry.
Recovery of Mycotoxicosis in Dogs
Although yeast poisoning may be common in dogs, pet owners should focus on not just reducing the yeast but finding out the reason it started. It could be a regional issue, lack of proper cleanliness for a dog, allergies that lead to itchy or oily skin, hair loss from certain products or using the wrong type of muzzle. If a dog continues to show signs of Malassezia even after the yeast issue should've been cleared up, pay special attention to what was done differently before the infection occurred.
Infections usually clear up within a few weeks, and if it takes longer than that or shows signs of repetition, consult a veterinarian again immediately.
Mycotoxicosis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My dogs and cats and me have been exposed to black mold for over a yr...just a few months ago they dumped bleach on it and refuse to fix the rotted floor boards noone believes me not even vets that all my animals have been sick since this I think we all have mold spores and mycotoxins poisoning from the black mold my dogs skin is a mess what can I feed them I can't afford raw ..and what can I use on his skin they r all chewing fur off non stop licking and chewing them selves raw and have brown flakes non stop coming off skin and fur all over their bodies....no one will believe me but it's odd how all my animals have almost same symptoms and never had any health problems in their lives til they did that ...please help me
Add a comment to Jazsper..jersey's experience
Was this experience helpful?