Has your dog or cat been acting sickly lately, but you can't seem to find the reason why? The culprit that could be sickening your pet might surprise you. Why? Because it could be your home. There are several reasons why your home could be making your pet ill that may not be visible to the eye, including:
Just like humans, pets can be adversely affected by toxic molds, such as black mold. Unfortunately, mold can be hiding just about anywhere in a home, including in the walls or under the floors. According to Pet MD, inhaling mold can cause a whole host of problems in pets -- and humans -- including:
- Depressed appetite
- Allergy symptoms, such as runny nose and sneezing
- Lameness due to bleeding in the joints
- Rashes, sores, and hair loss
If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms and you can detect an odor of mold in your home, it is time to contact a professional mold inspector. You should also consider having a home inspection for mold performed if you've recently had to deal with flooding, plumbing, or leaking issues in your house. Trying to locate mold on your own can be very difficult, if not impossible. And that is why it's important to hire a professional inspector who will have the expertise and equipment necessary to locate the problem area(s) in your home. Another reason to have your home inspected? Because your pet is small, it will typically be affected by toxic mold sooner than a human would be. So in that way, your pet could become that proverbial canary in the coal mine and actually save you and your family members from very dangerous health issues.
Contact a company like Donofrio & Associates to schedule a home inspection.
Rats and mice are not just nuisances. They can also bring deadly diseases into your home that can affect you and your pets. In March 2017, for instance, veterinarians in New Jersey discovered that dogs were dying from leptospirosis. This disease is transmitted through the urine of infected animals, including rats. Most dogs get leptospirosis when they are outdoors and come in contact with water that an infected creature has urinated in. But some house-bound dogs have also been sickened with this disease, which means that they had to have come in contact with the urine of an infected mouse or rat that had entered the home. The following are some of the symptoms that you may notice if your dog contracts leptospirosis:
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden fever
- Problems or inability to urinate
- Chronic renal failure
- Vomiting and diarrhea
While there is a vaccine for leptospirosis, it does not treat all forms of the disease. Therefore, the best way to protect your dog from getting leptospirosis is prevention. Keep your dog out of standing water or off of wet grass, especially if you know that wildlife, such as deer or squirrels, frequent the area.
While you may not know it, your home may be filled with items that contain formaldehyde, including laminated flooring, wood paneling, and wood-veneer furniture. And, unfortunately, these items give off formaldehyde emissions, which can be toxic when inhaled by your pet. Some pet owners, for example, have claimed that their pets were sickened by Lumber Liquidators' high-formaldehyde flooring. Pets are especially vulnerable to getting ill from these emissions because they spend so much time lying on the floor. Your pet may experience allergy-like symptoms, including an irritated nose or eyes.
If you suspect that formaldehyde may be causing issues with your pet, your options may be limited. You can try to keep your home well ventilated, especially when the formaldehyde-based product is first introduced, or you might even have to have it removed entirely from the building.