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Are Mushrooms Poisonous for Pets?

March 13, 2014

Both the onset of Spring and Summer are signaled by rain and humidity. Aside from beautiful flowers and the smell of fresh dirt, expect tiny cute mushrooms sprouting from the ground. After a drizzle for instance, try traveling with your pet the next morning and you will see these little wonders. Especially if you hike near wooded trails or in sidewalks.

 Mushrooms and Dogs

But are these things poisonous?

Mushrooms and Pets

It's very difficult to identify edible from inedible mushrooms. Some experts believe that the more innocent-looking they are, the more lethal they could be. The 'false morel' for example, looks so much like the 'morel' mushroom sought after by chefs and gourmet cooks around the world. Properly identifying them takes great skill and often, years of experience.

Wild mushrooms in general, can be toxic to pets (depending on the type and amount ingested). For simplicity's sake, toxic variants are classified into four categories:

  • Class A – the most dangerous type of mushroom; can cause the destruction of liver and kidney cells
  • Class B and C – just as dangerous; affects mainly the nervous system
  • Class D – results in gastrointestinal irritation

Common Symptoms

If your dog has swallowed or eaten a mushroom, assume that it is ALWAYS toxic and take him to your vet immediately. Bring a sample of the suspected mushroom to help identify it. Here are some of the common signs associated with mushroom poisoning:

  • weakness or lethargy
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • loss of coordination
  • seizures
  • coma

Treatment

Your pet will need hospitalization upon mushroom poisoning. Depending on the type and amount of toxic mushroom ingested, your vet will perform several tests firsts before doing actual treatment. Blood and physical exams are to be expected. If you didn't bring a sample of the mushroom with you, the vet would possibly take one out of your dog's stomach.

Usually, the vet would use activated charcoal to help the toxins in the mouth and stomach come together. This makes it easier for them to be taken out. Your pup may also undergo fluid therapy to promote urination. This can flush out said toxins from his system. If that doesn't work, your vet may have to induce vomiting.

Keep in mind though, that animal doctors can't predict the outcome of the treatment until they know what kind of mushroom it was.

Prevention

Keep your beloved pet away from mushrooms as you walk. Stay alert and keep a sharp for anything he might accidentally swallow. Dogs are notoriously curious; and he will normally find a way to eat something he shouldn't. Take advantage of practical pet accessories at PetFancy Dog Carriers and Leashes to help keep your dog in check.

If you discover any mushrooms growing in your backyard or lawn, pluck them out. Should you suspect that your furry pal has ingested poisonous varieties, contact your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline at once. Be it Spring or Summer, always keep a lookout for your pet no matter the season.

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