Humans aren't the only ones that can suffer from allergies. Dogs are prone to many of the same allergens that plague people, although the symptoms may be different. Mold is one of the more common allergies that dogs and their owners often share. It's important to get a correct diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan so your pet doesn't suffer.
Common Symptoms and Diagnosis
Mold allergies look different in dogs than they do in humans. Humans usually end up with sinus or respiratory issues when exposed to mold, while dogs may have a topical reaction. Common symptoms include
Dry skin, rashes, or general skin irritation
Irritated ears with a powdery buildup inside
Scratching, licking, and biting of the skin
Fur loss and bald spots
Coughing, sneezing, or labored breathing
These issues will likely persist year-round if the mold allergen is located inside the home. Your vet can verify the allergy with both a blood and skin test, which is where a small amount of the allergen is injected into the skin to check for a reaction.
Most treatments are designed to alleviate the symptoms, not remove the allergy. Your dog's treatment plan will depend on the symptoms they are showing.
For example, dogs prone to itchy ears or ear infections may receive ear drops. If scratching has led to open wounds, an antibiotic to stave off infection may be prescribed. Cortisone creams and antihistamines are often used to treat minor mold allergies, especially those that are only affecting the skin and not causing breathing issues.
Your best defense is to combat the mold in your home and remove as much as the allergen as possible. Begin by thoroughly cleaning the house from top to bottom. Mold often lurks in areas prone to moisture buildup, including wooden window sashes, in the bathroom, and in the kitchen. Air conditioners and duct work are also a prime location for mold. Running a dehumidifier in the home can help minimize moisture and mold growth.
If the allergies persist, consider professional mold removal. A specialist can get ducts clean and remove surface mold in cabinets, on walls, and from throughout the home. A fungicide is usually applied, to suppress future mold growth, on cleaned surfaces. If the mold can't be removed, a mold damage professional can encapsulate the mold so it cannot cause any more issues. This will improve not only your dog's health, but that of your family, too.