Monday, July 18, 2011

Friendly Tip: Mushrooms and Your Pets - Avoid them at All Costs!

The "Death Cap" mushroom has been found growing near the base of oak trees in NJ
Lately on our walks, I've noticed the hot, moist weather has caused mushrooms to sprout up in yards and along roads; and it got me thinking - since mushroom types are so difficult to identify and many are known to be toxic to humans, some must also be toxic to dogs. Turns out, that's the case.

As with any plant or living organism, the best advice is to ensure your pup or dog never ingests any type of mushroom. Be vigilant - mushrooms grow fast and can literally appear overnight.

There are lots of advice columns online for what to do if you suspect your pal has ingested a mushroom. Most say to give an oral dose of hydrogen peroxide which will cause vomiting and then head straight to your nearest emergency vet clinic or animal poison center (you do have these numbers in your cell phone, right?).

Nancy Kay, DVM, of the Best Friends Animal Society writes, "Ingestion of a Death Cap mushroom causes liver failure (in people and in dogs)- makes sense given the liver’s function as the “garbage disposal” of the body. Symptoms typically include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, delayed blood clotting, and neurological abnormalities.  Every year at my busy hospital, we see at least a handful of dogs with liver failure clearly caused by mushroom ingestion.  In spite our very best efforts, the individuals who survive mushroom poisoning are few and far between. Affected people can receive a liver transplant; no such technology available (yet) for dogs."

Few of us are mushroom identification pro's, so the safest bet is to treat all mushrooms you and your pooch come across as toxic.


  1. We have mushrooms that have sprouted up on parts of our yard. I keep a very careful eye on my dogs this time of year when they are sniffing around the yard. I have had to command "drop" several times when they have been picked up!!!!!

  2. Very interesting, I never knew this. Great info to share for anyone.