Despite the fact that mushrooms are a common ingredient in many meals and may be found growing wild in many of our yards, gardens, and parks, there are numerous reports of mushroom foraging disasters. With dogs having such a strong sense of curiosity- often sniffing and tasting things we wish they wouldn’t, you may be wondering: are mushrooms safe for dogs to eat?
Well, just like for us humans, the type of mushroom in question a direct bearing on the response. However, it is important to remember that dogs are sensitive to different foods and chemicals than we are, and many mushrooms are toxic and can cause serious illness if eaten by our dogs.
Mushrooms: Can Dogs Eat Them?
Let’s imagine this situation. While out on a stroll with your dog, you see that they paused to eat something and is wagging her tail. It turns out that your dog has eaten a wild mushroom while you were kneeling down to investigate.
Some people claim that dogs will not eat hazardous mushrooms because they can smell them. Regrettably, that is simply not the case. Wild mushroom poisoning is an under-reported source of lethal poisoning in pets, according to veterinarians and mushroom specialists, and responding fast to a suspected mushroom snack is the best thing you can do for your dog in these situations.
If your dog has eaten an unidentified mushroom, contact your veterinarian, animal poison control center, or emergency veterinary facility immediately and begin monitoring them for the clinical symptoms of mushroom poisoning.
What do Poisonous Mushrooms Look Like?
There are a wide variety of mushrooms. Some mushrooms look like little umbrellas and grow on the ground, while others look like flat disks growing out trees, and others look like something else entirely. With so many similarities between mushrooms, it can be hard to tell the difference between a tasty snack and something much more sinister. This is why it is best to assume any mushroom you find is likely unsafe for your pet to consume.
How Serious Is Mushroom Poisoning?
The severity of any illness due to mushroom ingestion depends greatly on the type and amount of mushroom consumed by your pet, as well as the current health of your dog. A puppy, geriatric or dog with existing health complications may have a more serious reaction than an adult dog in good health. Some mushrooms may cause mild vomiting or diarrhea whereas others can cause extreme illness.
If your dog has eaten a mushroom, it is best to bring your dog in for treatment with the mushroom in question, rather than try to identify the fungus yourself, as even the most experienced mushroom foragers can make errors.
How will I know if my dog has mushroom poisoning?
Clinical signs of mushroom poisoning include:
If your dog is experiencing any of these clinical signs, you should seek medical treatment right away as ingesting mushrooms can cause liver or kidney damage and in extreme cases, death.
The first step in treating mushroom poisoning is to induce vomiting, activated charcoal may also be administered to help absorb the toxins. If your dog is dehydrated they may need IV therapy. In more severe cases, aggressive treatment may be needed such as kidney dialysis or the use of medications such as anticonvulsants to treat seizures.