Composting is great… unless you’re a curious Morkie.

digging in gardenThose fruits, veggies, leftover pasta, corn cobs, coffee grinds… well you get the picture. All these foods melding together to eventually form beautifully rich earth.  But in the meantime they’re also producing molds which in turn can produce mycotoxin (“mike-o-toxins”) or toxic molds.

These are some of the deadliest natural poisons out there.  Even a small amount of toxic mold can cause serious health problems like muscle tremors, trouble walking and generally ‘drunken’ behaviour by your Morkie.

A slightly larger amount can cause severe tremors, seizures and death.

What to do if your dog has been into the compost

Symptoms hit about 30 to 60 minutes after the dog has eaten the toxic food.  If you see any of these indicators, call your Vet right away:

  • agitation
  • hyperthermia (increased temperature)
  • vomiting
  • panting
  • drooling
  • tremors
  • seizures


Your Veterinarian will probably get your dog to vomit and may give him a dose of thumb_sick-yorkie_1024activated charcoal to help absorb toxins from the GI tract.  An alcohol bath might be used to lower the animal’s temperature.

Once treated, the dog will probably be kept in the hospital on IV fluids and given muscle relaxants to reduce tremors.  Antibiotics also help if there’s diarrhea.

Although there’ s no real cure for mycotoxic poisoning, most dogs recover well, especially if they’re treated quickly.

Other sources of toxic mold

  • Moldy food from your fridge or pantry should be tossed in a secure garbage container.  (Try bungee cords to keep it closed).
  • Keep your dog away from road-kill, dead birds and small animals
  • Be careful letting him loose in the forest; moldy rotting leaves can be dangerous, along with more dead animals!

More tips to keep your dog safe

  • Don’t compost dairy and meat products – bones are another danger and that stuff shouldn’t be composted anyway
  • Pick up fallen fruit or nuts from trees before your dog goes out
  • Fence the compost pile well or use a bin that has a secure closure – wild animals should be kept out too