Mushrooms are truly unique creations of nature. They are not plants nor animals but fungi belonging to a different kingdom of their own. There are several thousand mushroom species growing in North America alone. Many of these mushrooms are edible and are used in preparing various exclusive cuisines and delicacies, as well as in traditional medicine. Other mushrooms have psychedelic properties that cause hallucinations, and some mushrooms are so toxic that they need to be avoided entirely. What could happen if your dog found a poisonous mushroom and ate it? Find out the possibilities and what to do by reading more below.  

How Poisonous are Mushrooms to Dogs? 

Toxic mushrooms can be deadly to dogs, and you should not allow your dog anywhere near them if you can. However, we understand that is easier said than done. A dogs’ curiosity can sometimes get them into dangerous situations, like mouthing or eating an unknown mushroom. Identifying mushroom species is very difficult and should be done by an expert. If your dog consumed a poisonous mushroom, the health implications are potentially fatal, and you should treat the situation as urgent. 

The symptoms that come from poisonous mushrooms are as diverse as mushrooms themselves. Clinical signs of mushroom poisoning can range from mild to severe and depend on the dosage and type of mushroom consumed. Not only can a toxic mushroom cause severe health problems, but death can occur as well. Some mushrooms can cause minor symptoms that a dog can fully recover from such as vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upset.  

Mushrooms that contain cyclopeptides are very poisonous and can cause vomiting and diarrhea that can develop into renal and liver failure. The chances of survival after consuming this species of mushroom are low. Mushrooms that contain hydrazine toxins are extremely dangerous. Within just hours of ingestion, symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea occur which quickly leads to seizures and liver necrosis. Recovery depends on the timeliness and proper medical care. Besides poisonous mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms can also harm dogs, making them hallucinate and aggressive to even familiar faces. 

Clinical Signs of Mushroom Poisoning 

Clinical signs of mushroom poisoning depend on the type of mushroom eaten, as some mushrooms contain stronger toxins than others and the quantity consumed. Several organ systems can be affected after ingesting a mushroom.  

  • 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 

Some mushroom toxins can affect dogs within 15-30 minutes of ingestion, while others will not show signs for up to 24 hours. All mushroom ingestions should be treated as an emergency before a specialist can accurately and quickly identify the mushroom species. Contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 for emergency assistance and get your dog to a veterinary clinic ASAP to save your dog’s life.