Blood that had been drawn on the cats was tested and both came back showing levels of the toxin that is produced by stachybotrys chartarum, a toxic black mold.Exposure to this mold has been known to cause respiratory problems, pulmonary hemorrhage, and death. These have only been reported in humans up until now.
The two cats were considered healthy cats and recently been tested and shown to have no illnesses. The cats, however, both lived in homes that suffered water damage as a result of a hurricane in 2005. The cat owners were advised to check their homes for mold and sure enough they both discovered they had severe mold contamination from stachybotrys in their walls.
The toxin produced by stachybotrys weakens the capillaries making them very fragile and susceptible to bursting. The dental procedure was enough to make the fragile capillaries in the lungs of the cat burst. Both cats died from complications arising from pulmonary hemorrhaging.
Dr. Mader hopes that this study will spur animal owners affected by floods or hurricanes and water damage of any kind to check their houses for mold and if found, have the mold removed immediately.