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D2004-17

Dear Daisy Dog

Our dog Cody got into the trash and ate some moldy food. Soon afterward, he developed seizures that lasted two days.

Thankfully, our veterinarian was able to stop Cody’s seizures and save his life. Would you explain how moldy food causes seizures?

Daisy Responds

Some molds form toxins, called mycotoxins. The most common mycotoxins we dogs ingest, when we’re indiscriminate diners like Cody, are made by Penicillium molds.

These molds commonly grow on refrigerated foods such as cottage cheese and cream cheese, as well as grains, nuts (especially walnuts and peanuts) and legumes.

Mycotoxins that cause tremors and seizures can also be found in compost piles.

The mycotoxins produced by Penicillium molds may cause fine muscle tremors, severe tremors or seizures that can last for hours – or days.

Dogs may also experience one or more of these signs: vomiting, rapid heart beat, breathing difficulty, hyperactivity, depression or other behavior changes.

Even with treatment, mycotoxin seizures can be fatal. So whenever a dog eats moldy food, it’s important to call the veterinarian.

The good news is that Cody’s seizures are unlikely to recur – if he stays out of the trash.

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