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Mold and tea tree oil

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by dagny0823, May 2, 2011.


  1. dagny0823

    dagny0823 PetForums VIP

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    We have recently learned that our house is riddled with mold:eek:, which would explain a lot of health issues we've been having, including some hair loss on our puppy and two of the cats. Fortunately we're moving to a nice dry house in June, but in order to not carry spores with us, we need to clean everything thoroughly with fungicides, including the pets.

    Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide and is doing wonders on the puppy (along with miconazole), but I didn't know if it's safe for cats. I was wondering if any of you knew offhand and, if it isn't, is there something else safe to use on them--I'm thinking of a spray or shampoo for a quick dip, just to kill what they've got on them.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    So you've attributed the hair loss to the mould? I'm not aware of any connection between it and anything other than respiratory problems and that's only in humans! Are they allergic?

    I would speak to your vet before using any of the products you suggest on your cats or dog that's if it's necessary to apply anything at all. I know that tea tree oil is an ingredient in some cat shampoos but I would check with your vet before using the neat form, especially on the cats!
     
  3. shells

    shells PetForums VIP

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    i know tea tree is used in products to prevent nits in people but animals are more sensative than us so not sure best wd b to ring your vets hun xx
     
  4. dagny0823

    dagny0823 PetForums VIP

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    Yes, mold allergies can cause a huge range of problems, including rash, lesions, and hair loss, as well as the usual respiratory ones.

    The vet originally suggested food allergies for the pup. (The two cats only have small troubles--one has a wee patch on her tummy and the other a small patch on her tail and both are growing back). I habitually switch protein sources, so unless he's got a general animal-source protein issue, it's not that. Most vets (over here anyway, I can't speak for the UK) don't even consider mold as a factor, but it seemed to me that the cause might be environmental, and then we discovered all the mold problems with the house.

    I bought some tea tree oil spray and shampoo on Saturday, and puppy was improved Sunday, so I see an obviously correlation. Cats are getting better on their own, so I assume they had a mild irritation they are getting over, probably since with warmer weather, we can open the house up a bit and air it out.

    I really doubt the vet is going to help much in this case at this juncture as what I'm really looking for is a way to kill the spores on the pets' fur before we take them to a new mold-free environment. I know most commercial products that kill mold can burn skin and lungs, so those are most obviously out. I'm looking for natural anti-fungals that are safe to use on cats.
     
  5. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    If you're talking about the mould spore formation on walls then that is generated by a combination of condensation ( due to high moisture content of air ) and poor ventilation in relatively cold environments so when these conditons are removed then the spores are extremely unlikely to thrive! It's not like flea tranfer from one place to another where environmental factors are relatively unimportant.

    Changing your living conditions is the important thing ( which you're doing ) so I don't believe you need to treat the cats for this reason other than to minimise current symptoms!
     
  6. dagny0823

    dagny0823 PetForums VIP

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    Well, that's a relief. That would certainly make life easier as we hightail it out of the Mold Palace here! I had read somewhere that it's important to clean all linens and upholstered furniture in order not to transfer the problem, and that included on the pets' skin. I really just wanted to make sure everyone's clean if it's critical to keeping them healthy.
     
  7. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    I would imagine it meant to prevent transfer within the same environment and I'd certainly be very interested to know if what you read applied to moving house etc.

    I'm sure you're relieved to be moving and hope the animals all improve! Hope you've got lots of windows because ventilation is very important in terms of prevention!!! :)

    On an added note - Strangely enough I was saying to a friend recently this is one of the reasons I never dry clothes inside!! Even in winter!
     
  8. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Completely off-topic but I am just dead nosy - Ianthi, you dry your clothes outside even in a winter as cold as the last one? Even when it has snowed?
     
  9. Chez87

    Chez87 PetForums VIP

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    Oops. I always dry my clothes indoors. Especially in summer (bad hayfever sufferer!)
     
  10. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Knew it! Realised that I omitted that after I posted! I just didn't bother washing them all all then!!

    No, they were consigned to the furthest bedroom in small amounts then ( thankfully dried quickly owing to the full blast heating !) but otherwise I just manage to find suitable days even in winter!
     
  11. dagny0823

    dagny0823 PetForums VIP

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    There's a ton of information on this site--
    Mold-Help.org: MOLD. . .What is it all about?The world's largest
    Maybe we have worse mold over here in the US, I don't know. But you had said it likes it cold and damp---over here, mold likes warm and damp. The less ventilation the better, so I think the problem started with the windows being sealed for the winter. Good thing this house is leaky and poorly constructed. Woe to the people who buy it--it's for sale too--because I don't think anyone thinks to do mold testing.
     
  12. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Interesting article! Have you ever had your house tested too see which moult type applies in your case?
     
  13. dagny0823

    dagny0823 PetForums VIP

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    There's very visible mold in the crawl space under the house and on the siding outside, so we know there's a problem inside. The house also fits a lot of criteria for having mold potentially inside the walls--leaks, water damage in the past, wet underneath almost constantly, leaky gutters, etc. We've sent for the test kit just to confirm. I'm hoping the landlords will let us out of the lease early because of it. But mostly it's just for peace of mind. If we had to take it to court, I'm not sure if we'd fare well as we're renting from a prominent family in the area with ties to the mafia (no joke).
     
  14. Jansheff

    Jansheff PetForums VIP

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    Hi, just wanted to say that on a US site similar to this one (not sure I'm allowed to refer people to other sites) they are very insistent that tea tree oil is very toxic to cats. In fact one lady posted there saying she lost a cat after it was groomed by a professional groomer who bathed the cat using a tea tree shampoo, it struggled in the bath and got some in its mouth. They advise that even if you use it in your own bath/hair to wash and rinse out the bath/shower very carefully in case the cat goes in there.
     
  15. dagny0823

    dagny0823 PetForums VIP

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    You know, I've read that it's toxic, but only in concentrated form, which I imagine it would be to anyone, when it gets right down to it. Most essential oils aren't meant to be consumed in straight form.

    It's all so confusing, though. Who wants to take the chance? Not me, but I don't know what else to use that's not potentially dangerous. I've read grapefruit seed oil is also a natural anti-fungal. I wonder if that's safe? And I wonder if I could ever find products containing such an exotic ingredient around here.
     
  16. GreyHare

    GreyHare Guest

    Hobbs posted a very interesting link the other day about how dangerous essential oils are to cats due to how their livers work and metabolise the oil

    Here that would put me off using any oils around my cats let alone on them.
     
  17. dagny0823

    dagny0823 PetForums VIP

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    Exactly. Thanks for the link.

    But that brings me back to the original question: Does anyone know of a topical anti-fungal (preferably non-chemical) that wouldn't be toxic to cats? Or maybe we should just put them out in the sun for a few hours as is recommended we do with upholtered furniture!:)
     
    #17 dagny0823, May 4, 2011
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  18. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Personally, I wouldn't use anything on them but perhaps air them in the sun for a wee while :smilewinkgrin:. When we had mould in our old house we used vinegar to wipe it off and then we moved :D
     
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