Downtown residents warn of mold danger for dogs

A Columbus couple is warning the public about the dangers mold can cause for your pet.

Bruce and Mitzi Quinn, who live in downtown Columbus, say that their dog Bella was poisoned after eating moldy rye bread. Bruce Quinn says that a neighbor was feeding the bread to the birds and Bella found it in the backyard.

Quinn said that soon after eating the moldy bread, Bella began having violent seizures.

Quinn said that he worries the exposure has caused permanent harm to his pet.

The Quinns are asking that people not feed bread to the birds, especially not rye bread. The particular toxin their dog encountered is called ergot and it only grows on moldy rye bread.

Local veterinarians say that mold carries mycotoxins and depending on the variety, it can be dangerous to your pets. While they stress that that there is no sign of a surge in such poisonings locally, they also say you need to be careful.

Dr. Brooke Case with Athens Animal Clinic explains that many molds can cause illnesses in dog.

Case explains that signs of a poisoning usually start with vomiting.

Case explains that dogs frequently explore things by putting it in their mouth and they rely on us to look out for them.

Dr. Daniel Vermillion with Columbus Animal Hospital said he saw similar illnesses when he worked with large animals who had eaten moldy hay. While he also said he is not seeing an increase in such mold-poisoning cases locally, Vermillion said this level of poisoning from mycotoxins sounds unusual.

if your pet is acting as if they have been poisoned you can call the pet poison hotline. Although, you do need to have an idea of what your pet may have ingested.

The ASPCA pet poison hotline is (888) 426-4435 and you should also call your family veterinarian.

Vermillion offers some more tips if you have a dog that is vomiting.