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Fungal Toxicosis Related to Fusarium Fungus in Dogs

Mycotoxicosis-Deoxynivalenol in Dogs

Mycotoxicosis is a medical condition caused by mycotoxins, which are toxic substances produced by fungal organisms like molds and yeasts. Deoxynivalenol (DON), nicknamed vomitoxin due to its impact on the digestive system, is one such mycotoxin generated by the Fusarium graminearum fungus commonly found in grains like corn, wheat, oats, and barley. Mycotoxicosis-deoxynivalenol specifically refers to the harmful reaction that occurs when a dog consumes pet food containing grain contaminated with DON.

Symptoms and Types

Typical symptoms of mycotoxicosis-deoxynivalenol comprise a sudden aversion to food and/or vomiting subsequent to consuming food tainted with DON. The combination of food rejection and vomiting may result in subsequent weight loss. It’s important to note that if the contaminated food is eliminated and no longer consumed, these abnormal symptoms may dissipate, requiring no treatment.

Research indicates that dogs commonly experience vomiting when the concentration of DON in food exceeds eight milligrams per kilogram of food.


The onset of mycotoxicosis-deoxynivalenol results from ingesting grains (such as barley, wheat, corn, or oats, commonly utilized in pet feed production) contaminated by the Fusarium fungus. This fungus can induce toxic reactions in the body, manifesting symptoms like vomiting, food rejection, and weight loss.


To diagnose mycotoxicosis-deoxynivalenol, providing a comprehensive history of your dog’s health and symptom onset is essential. Diagnosis involves examining the suspected pet food for the presence of DON. Additionally, other diagnostic procedures may be employed to rule out diseases presenting similar symptoms, such as loss of appetite and vomiting. These procedures may include X-rays, chemical blood profile analysis, and urine analysis.

Possible alternative diagnoses may encompass viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections, exposure to various toxins like ethanol, ingestion of toxic plants, presence of tumors or abnormal cell growths, or pancreatic infections.


Typically, resolving this condition involves removing the contaminated pet food, leading to a rapid cessation of vomiting and a return to normal appetite and food consumption. Upon removing the contaminated food, further treatment or medication should generally not be necessary.

Living and Management

Following the diagnosis and resolution of mycotoxicosis-deoxynivalenol through the removal of contaminated food, ongoing monitoring of your dog’s symptoms by your veterinarian remains crucial. Severe vomiting may lead to dehydration, necessitating the replenishment of body fluids to prevent organ damage. If weight loss has occurred due to vomiting or reduced appetite, your dog’s weight should be monitored to ensure expected normal weight gain during the recovery phase.


Mycotoxicosis-deoxynivalenol is preventable. It can be avoided by exclusively feeding high-quality dog foods that are DON-free.

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