Do you let your four-legged friends roam around the backyard? While an outdoor play area filled with grass and trees can bring lots of joy to dogs, it’s important to remember that in some cases, wild mushrooms may be present. Whether you’re walking your dogs in a nearby park or just relaxing in the garden at home, it’s essential to know what wild fungi are out there—and more importantly, whether they could make your pup sick if ingested. Read below to explore the potential risks associated with wild mushrooms for pets and helpful tips on how you can keep them safe.
Threat of Wild Mushrooms
Wild mushrooms can pose serious risks to dogs. Certain mushroom species are perfectly safe for consumption, while others contain toxic or psychedelic properties. There are thousands of mushroom species and over 100 toxic mushrooms found in North America alone. If your dog has eaten an unidentified mushroom, the best practice is to assume that it’s toxic and take the necessary steps to seek treatment. Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline for life-saving advice if your dog has consumed a mushroom and always monitor your pet’s environment when outside.
Potential Clinical Signs of Mushroom Toxicity
There is a wide range of toxic reactions associated with mushrooms, which is reflective of the diversity found within the species. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the type and amount ingested. Mushrooms that contain cyclopeptides can cause symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting which can lead to liver and renal failure. Mushrooms that carry hydrazine toxins can cause vomiting and diarrhea, which quickly leads to seizures and liver necrosis within hours of consumption. If your pup ingests hallucinogenic mushrooms, they can become lethargic, aggressive, cry out, and have trouble walking. With supportive care and hospitalization, they should recover. If you have further questions or concerns about mushroom species and their hazards, do not hesitate to call Pet Poison Helpline.
If your pup has eaten wild mushrooms, seek immediate medical attention from your veterinarian and call Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for additional assistance. If you wait for clinical signs to develop and become visible, it could be far too late. If you can, safely bring a sample of the mushroom to the veterinary clinic so a professional can identify it. Your dog may need to be sedated while your veterinarian is administering treatment. Your veterinarian will work to prevent further absorption of toxins and give supportive care. The type of mushroom and amount ingested will determine specific treatment and the intensity of it. Always monitor your pet’s environment when they are outside and if you spot wild mushrooms outside, keep your dog away and call a professional to identify them.