We have been getting a lot of rain this year. The rain may have caused mushrooms to come up in your yard. I have never paid these much attention and did not realize how dangerous – MUSHROOMS can be to your pets. I have not really thought about this until the other day. I learned a family member had to take one of their dogs to the Emergency Veterinarian because he ate some mushrooms. I really had not paid attention to the mushrooms in my yard or even thought that one of our dogs or cats would eat them. The other day while walking a dog I noticed huge mushrooms in one of the yards along our walk. It made me wonder how I would know if one of our dogs ate a mushroom.
I began my search on mushroom poisoning in dogs and/or cats. The only place I found information was on PETMD. The information was simple yet detailed
Ingested mushrooms can cause anything from an upset stomach, seizures, liver failure and in worst case scenarios death. The toxic mushrooms are classified into four categories (A, B, C, D) simply based on the clinical signs and the length of time of symptom onset. Then they are broken down into seven (1-7) groups based on the toxins they contain. Because it is difficult if not impossible to tell the type of mushroom, if you suspect your pet has eaten a mushroom you will need to seek medical help as soon as possible. Try to bring samples of suspected mushrooms to the veterinarians with you. Either pick some from yard or if your dog has vomited bring as much of the vomite as possible to the veterinarian. I know this sounds gross but it may make a difference between life and death. Face it if you have owned a dog or cat for any time you have handled grosser things. I would bring every mushroom I saw in the yard.
What are some of the symptoms? The symptoms depend on the type of mushroom ingested. Category A mushrooms are the most toxic. These mushrooms cause the destruction of cells particularly in the liver and kidneys. While category B and C mushrooms affect the nervous system. Category D mushrooms cause gastrointestinal irritation.
The following are more common symptoms associated with mushroom poisoning.
Yellowing of skin
To properly diagnose Mushroom poisoning you will need to give a complete medical history to the veterinarian. You will also need to give details of the onset and nature of symptoms. This is when having an example of the suspected mushrooms or other possible suspected item comes in helpful. If you dog or cat has vomited it would be very helpful to bring a sample of the vomit also. If you have had a pet for more than a month you have handled grosser so get over it.
The veterinarian will then perform a complete physical exam including a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. They may also take a sample from your dog or cats stomach. The blood work will tell if the liver enzymes are high due to damage, and reveal any low or high glucose levels. Urinalysis will let the dr know if your pet is becoming dehydrated and how much if any of the posin has been processed through the kidney and the condition of the kidneys.
Keep in mind mushroom poisoning is a medical emergency that will require immediate attention and hospitalization. Your veterinarian may use one or all the following treatments depending on the severity of the complications. They may use activated charcoal given by mouth to bind with the toxins. Your dog may be given fluids to stabilize fluid levels and increase urination, which helps in the elimination of toxins. Depending on the mushroom type and severity of complications they may induce vomiting.
With treatment the prognosis is good especially if treatment is within hours of ingestion. Ultimately this all depends on the type of mushroom and the toxicity of the mushrooms. Sometimes symptoms associated with mushroom poisoning go undetected until liver or kidney complications occur. After treatment your veterinarian will continue to monitor the liver and kidneys functions every 24 to 48 hours. Be sure and let him or her know if there are in additional symptoms during this time.
All mushrooms are dangerous to dogs and cats. Remember that rope toy you thought was long gone. Then one day you dog comes in the house this it.. That toy has just become a host to some very dangerous inhabitants, any mold or fungi (moldy bread, Moldy cheese,English walnuts, and even backyard compost can cause Poisoning. The technical word is Mycotoxicosis.