A dog’s curiosity never ends. Dogs roam around with their noses buried in the ground, sniffing, licking, and munching their way through various items. Unfortunately, their curiosity may lead them into danger, such as eating mushrooms found outside. Mushroom poisoning can be deadly, so here are some things to do if your dog eats a mushroom.
Where Can My Dog Find Mushrooms?
Mushrooms tend to thrive in warm, dark, and damp conditions. They can be found in woodlands, rugged terrains, grassy parks, and even in your backyard. There are over 11,000 species of mushrooms in North America and about 30 species are extremely toxic to humans and dogs. Other species are somewhat toxic but to a lesser degree.
The most common and toxic mushroom species are:
- Fly agaric
- Destroying Angel
- Death Cap
- Autumn skullcap
How do you identify non-toxic and toxic mushroom species? Unless you’re a mycologist, it’s quite hard to correctly identify non-toxic and toxic mushroom species. Typically, non-toxic mushrooms grow on trees, have easy open caps, and have insects crawl around them.
So, long story short, keep your dog away from all kinds of mushrooms in any environment. Consult a local botanist or mushroom specialist to determine if your local mushrooms are toxic.
Common Symptoms of Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs
Toxic reactions to mushrooms are as diverse as mushrooms themselves. Symptoms are dependent on the type and quantity of mushrooms consumed by a dog. Some mushrooms cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and moderate gastrointestinal discomfort that might develop even after eating a few mushrooms, but generally they are not deadly.
Mushrooms that contain cyclopeptides are extremely toxic. Signs of poisoning include vomiting and diarrhea that can later develop into liver and renal failure. Most people and animals will not survive after consuming these types of mushrooms.
Another group of toxic mushrooms contain hydrazine toxins. Within hours of eating, vomiting and diarrhea occur which quickly leads to seizures and liver necrosis. Survival chances depend on the timeliness of treatment.
If your dog has eaten an unknown mushroom, immediately call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline®, at 855-764-7661, to get the help your dog needs. If possible, bring a sample of the mushroom that your dog ate.
Mushroom Toxicity Treatment
Treating mushroom toxicity can be difficult for veterinarians due to the wide range of toxic mushrooms and signs of poisoning. Consulting several veterinarians and mushroom specialists may be helpful to decide the correct course of treatment. Your vet will do their best to treat your dog’s symptoms. It may be hard to determine your dog’s recovery based on the type of mushroom toxicity and their clinical signs. The most important thing is to get immediate vet care, which will increase your dog’s chances of recovery.