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Keep Your Pets Safe Around Compost


Photo courtesy of  Brigit from Pixabay

If dogs get into and consume moldy foods, including compost, they may possibly ingest certain fungi that are toxic to them.  These fungi, many of which are among the penicillium species, produce mycotoxins which can produce tremors and seizures in dogs and some other animals.


The symptoms can vary in severity, but veterinary intervention should be sought immediately if mycotoxicosis is suspected.  The symptoms include muscle tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, ataxia (loss of coordination), and seizures.  Severe cases can lead to death. 


Mold, fungi, and bacteria are essential to the decomposition of organic material which is the point of composting.  If you have a dog, your compost should be secured behind a fence or in a contained bin.


Other animals such as rodents, rabbits, and cats are also vulnerable, although cases are rarely reported in cats since they exercise more discrimination in what they eat. 


Here are some web resources with more information:

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