Vet Tips from Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital: Tremorgenic Mycotoxins

Tremorgenic mycotoxins produced by molds on foods are a relatively common, and possibly under-diagnosed, cause of tremors and seizures in pet animals. Because of their relatively indiscriminate appetites, dogs tend to be most commonly exposed to tremorgens. These toxins are produced from a variety of fungi, however tremorgens produced by Penicillium spp. are the most commonly encountered. These molds grow on practically any food, including dairy products, grains, nuts, and legumes; compost piles may also provide a source of tremorgens. Tremorgens have a several different mechanisms of actions: some alter nerve action potentials, some alter neurotransmitter action, and while others alter neurotransmitter levels. The overall affect is the development of muscle tremors and seizures.

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