Moldy Food Dangers to Dogs: 6 Facts To Know

You might think composting is a good idea, and you would be right, as our society becomes more environmentally conscious. However, dog owners must exercise caution when discarding stale or moldy food.

Damage can be done by the mycotoxins produced by mold, which include tremors. Just a little bit of it can wreck your body. At least 19 molds have been identified as being harmful to dogs and found in compost.

What is Moldy Food (Mycotoxins) Poisoning?

Toxic mycotoxins are metabolized by spoilage organisms like molds and yeasts. These chemicals are harmful to humans and dogs alike, which can be a problem for pets who like to forage through garbage cans for scraps of food to eat.

Mycotoxins can be broken down into a number of distinct families, each of which contains a wide variety of toxin types. The most prevalent kind are known as tremorgenic because they contain a neurotoxin that can bring on convulsions in canines.

Different Penicillium species produce tremorgenic mycotoxins, the most common of which is penitrem-A, which is toxic to dogs.

Bread, dairy products, and nuts are just some of the foods that penitrem-A likes to colonize when they go bad. In dogs, this type of poisoning is fairly common and manifests rapidly with vomiting, tremors, and fever. Seizures at very high doses can be fatal if not treated.

Aspergillus fungi, which produce aflatoxins, are just one example of the types of toxic mycotoxins that may be present. Mycotoxins are broken down in the liver, and if too many of them die, the dog will look jaundiced and have a yellowish coat because of the effect on the liver’s ability to function.

Moldy or spoiled pet food may also contain trichothecene mycotoxins, which are produced by the fungus Fusarium. This will result in nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

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Mycotoxin poisoning can be fatal, and even at lower doses, patients may experience symptoms for up to five days. The dog’s prognosis improves dramatically with veterinary care as it alleviates symptoms and speeds up the elimination of the toxins.

Mycotoxins, which can be found in moldy food, can be harmful to your dog. Mycotoxin intoxication or mycotoxin toxicosis is the syndrome that may develop after ingestion. In most cases, patients will experience tremors and seizures. Without medical intervention, severe cases can be fatal.

Moldy bread can be fatal to dogs – The Mercury News

Symptoms of Moldy Food (Mycotoxins) Poisoning in Dogs

  • Stomach Ache
  • Ataxia
  • Death
  • Diarrhoea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

Walnuts and peanuts are just two examples of nuts that share this risk with one another. Mold can also grow on grains and pasta, so avoid those as well.

It is important to be cautious when discarding food waste, regardless of whether or not you have a compost pile.

Most canine patients do well after receiving prompt medical attention. Due to the potentially fatal nature of these toxins, it is still advisable to consult your veterinarian even if no outward symptoms manifest. It’s preferable to err on the side of caution rather than regret later.


Moldy food often contains mycotoxins such as those listed here.


  • The most prevalent tremorgenic mycotoxin linked to canine poisoning, it is typically found in mold that has grown on stale bread, nuts, cheese, and other foods.


  • This substance, which is produced by the fungus genus Aspergillus, can also be found in numerous mold varieties.
  • It has the potential to cause icterus (jaundice) in dogs and disrupt liver function.


  • Mycotoxin (trichothecene) caused by Fusarium fungus that grows on grain products (bread, dog food, etc.).
  • Contaminated dog food is the most common cause of this rare form of dog poisoning.


  • One more tremor-inducing mycotoxin that often co-occurs with penitrem-A
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Can Dogs Eat Moldy Bread?

Causes of Moldy Food (Mycotoxins) Poisoning in Dogs

Mycotoxin poisoning can occur due to a number of different things, some of which are listed here.

  • Expired food dumped into an uncovered trash can
  • Garbage dump
  • To give a dog spoiled food is cruel.

Diagnosis of Moldy Food (Mycotoxins) Poisoning in Dogs

If your dog has a history of eating moldy food, you can safely assume that he or she has been poisoned by mycotoxins.

If you suspect a mycotoxin is to blame for your pet’s symptoms, it’s best to bring a sample of the substance in question to the vet.

Blood tests can detect the presence of aflatoxins by showing decreased liver function, but other mycotoxins rarely have such clear diagnostic markers.

Mycotoxin toxicosis can only be diagnosed with certainty by having a lab analyze the spoiled food or the contents of your dog’s stomach to determine the specific substance causing the symptoms.

Since ingestion of other toxic substances, such as ethylene glycol, hydrocarbons, or amphetamines, could also cause similar symptoms, the veterinarian will need to test for alternative causes. If you didn’t witness the incident, a description of your dog’s recent behavior could be useful.

Treatment of Moldy Food (Mycotoxins) Poisoning in Dogs

Keep an eye out for any negative symptoms if you think your dog has eaten something moldy. Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms appear. It’s possible that your dog will start vomiting in an effort to purge their system of the poisons they’ve consumed.

At the veterinarian, you can expect a full body checkup as well as bloodwork consisting of a biochemistry profile and a complete blood count. Some of it may be used to determine the exact nature of the toxin that has caused your dog’s diarrhea or violent vomiting.

Possibile treatments include:

Emesis — You shouldn’t try this at home, but your vet may recommend it. Your dog won’t have to worry about any of the moldy food he ate being absorbed into his body because this tool will quickly and effectively remove it.

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The vet will administer activated charcoal to prevent your dog from absorbing any more of the poison.

Some toxins can be flushed out of your dog’s system with the help of a stomach pump and a saline solution, which your veterinarian may administer.

Your vet may recommend intravenous fluids to help with hydration and flushing.

Medication Your veterinarian may prescribe muscle relaxants or anti-seizure medication if your dog is experiencing tremors or seizures.

Mycotoxin poisoning is difficult to treat in dogs, so prevention is of utmost importance. Since there is currently no way to reverse the effects, prompt action is essential to preventing any further suffering.

Recovery of Moldy Food (Mycotoxins) Poisoning in Dogs

When treated quickly and effectively, most dogs can recover from mycotoxin poisoning. However, it is crucial to seek treatment, as this toxicity can be fatal. In order to avoid further poisonings, it will be necessary to identify their source and eliminate it.

Dog food should be replaced regularly, and any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container or a dog-proof trash can until garbage day. The potential for contamination in dog food can be minimized by purchasing it in smaller quantities.

Every opportunity to use a garbage disposal should be taken when disposing of spoiled food. If you want to recycle used milk containers or bottles, wash them first.

Training your dog to “leave it” can be helpful, especially when you’re out and about, and you should always make sure trash cans have secure lids to prevent your pet from scavenging through them.

What Happens When You Eat Mold By Accident

Don’t give your dog any old food. Any food that is toxic to humans is also likely to be harmful to your dog.

In order to maintain [your pet’s] health and happiness, you must feed it a high-quality diet. Treatment for digestive issues and food allergies can be costly. Check out the various pet health insurance options to save over $270 per year on your veterinary bills.

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