In North America alone, there are thousands of mushroom species, some of which are edible and used in cooking and traditional medicine. However, it is important to note that many mushrooms have psychedelic properties or are highly toxic and should be avoided at all costs. If your dog were to come across a poisonous mushroom in your yard and eat it, it is crucial to understand the potential consequences and know how to respond.
Dangers of Wild Mushrooms
It is crucial to keep your dog away from wild mushrooms, as they can potentially be deadly. However, we understand that preventing this is easier said than done. Dogs are naturally curious and may get themselves into dangerous situations, such as mouthing or eating unknown mushrooms. Identifying mushroom species is difficult and should be left to an expert. If your dog consumes a mushroom, it is a potentially life-threatening situation and should be treated as an emergency. The toxic effects from consuming poisonous mushrooms are as diverse as mushrooms themselves. The severity of the clinical signs of mushroom poisoning can range from mild to severe, depending on the type and amount ingested. Toxic mushrooms not only cause significant health issues but can also lead to death.
Symptoms of Mushroom Poisoning
Clinical signs of poisoning depend on the species of mushroom and amount consumed. Several organ systems can be affected after eating wild mushrooms. Below are some organ systems that can be affected and their clinical signs of toxicity.
- Gastrointestinal: Vomiting and diarrhea
- Central nervous system: Ataxia, tremors, seizures, visual disturbances, aggression, disorientation
- Liver: Vomiting, black-tarry stools, increased liver enzyme blood tests, liver failure
- Kidney: Anorexia, vomiting, inappropriate thirst or urination, kidney failure
If you suspect that your dog has eaten wild mushrooms, you must seek medical attention immediately. Call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for life-saving advice. Transport your dog to the veterinary clinic for treatment. This may include inducing vomiting and administering activated charcoal to bind the toxins. Specific treatment will depend on the symptoms your dog is experiencing. Some toxins can take effect within 15 to 30 minutes after ingestion, while others may not show signs for up to 24 hours. Do not wait for symptoms to show or attempt to self-identify the mushroom ingested. Treating all mushroom ingestion as an emergency will give your dog the best chance of recovery.