Compost - good for the environment, bad for your dog

In this day and age you are viewed as an irresponsible citizen if you are not 'Being Green'. We recycle, drive low-emission cars, and fashion our houses with energy efficient light bulbs.  Although many of the habits we have adopted over the years are more environmentally friendly, there is one in particular that is not friendly to our animal companions. The topic to which I am referring is composting.

triangle veterinary referrral hospital tvrh trianglevrh bigstock-Compost-Bin-With-Fork-22292312.jpg

The same piles of rotting organic matter and molding food products that make your summer gardens nutrient rich, also produce mycotoxins that have negative health effects on your dogs. Depending on the quantity consumed and state of decay of the compost, your dog may show some or all of the following symptoms: hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive panting, hyperthermia, ataxia, and seizures. If left untreated, these symptoms can lead to death. Your canine may need to be hospitalized for one to several days in order to counteract the side effects from ingesting mycotoxins. If deemed appropriate, a treatment plan will include inducing vomiting, IV fluids, routine blood tests, anticonvulsants and/or muscle relaxants, administration of activated charcoal, and temperature regulation.

tvrh triangle veterinary referral hospital trianglevrh bigstock-Zest-on-a-compost-heap-33212969 (2).jpg

If you are going to begin your voyage into composting this year fellow eco-savvy individuals, please be careful. Make sure your bins are covered, and possibly even locked. Treatment for mycotoxicosis is frequently successful if the ailment is promptly recognized, so it is important to contact your family's veterinarian or the local emergency clinic immediately if your canine comrade is exhibiting any or all of the symptoms previously listed.