Toxic mushrooms

Elly_NJDecember 10, 2009

A CCI puppy raiser sent me this note about mushrooms:

Bay Area Dogs - I received this from a friend active in the canine community in the Sonoma area. I don't know where else these mushrooms may grow. Sending along for information. Tammi

Can you help to spread the word that the Amanita phalloides, the death cap mushroom, has come out in full force since the rains started. We had one death at Lake 2 weekends ago, and PETS emergency clinic in Berkeley called on Friday and said they have had 3 deaths in 6 days - all from the Oakland area.

The mushrooms have a sweet odor (like honey) and are attractive to some dogs (whose owners report they actually seek them out to eat them). They are really non descript little white mushrooms.

The toxic effects appear about 6-36 hours after the mushrooms are eaten, and once signs are seen the toxicity is poorly responsive to treatment (we try a lot of things to support the animal, but if enough mushrooms were eaten it will be fatal despite the treatment).

If someone suspects their dog may have eaten a mushroom, the best treatment is to take the dog immediately to a vet or emergency clinic and have them induce vomiting and give activated charcoal. The mushroom toxin is absorbed fairly rapidly, but the damage to the liver can take hours before it is clinically apparent. Don't waste time trying to figure out if the mushroom is toxic as speed in removing the mushroom from the digestive system is the most important thing in my experience.

Here is a link with some pictures

Here is a link that might be useful: Amanita_phalloides

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I know they are here in NC as well. I've seen some dogs who have eaten these mushrooms- they have all died of liver failure. Unfortunately these mushrooms can look just like anything pretty much. Once you figure out the mushrooms are toxic, the dog's liver is already trashed and it will die. So as mentioned above, if your dog eats a mushroom outside, give it hydrogen peroxide by mouth IMMEDIATELY until the dog vomits, then take it to the vet right away.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 7:54PM
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Meghane can you also use peroxide if the dog licks a poison toad? Just curious in case it ever happens.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 9:34PM
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Usually when people (mostly from other countries) eat them, they need a minimum of 2 liver transplants. Best way to prevent this - leash your dog while out for walks.
A mushroom is the flowering body of a mychorrzial strain, and these strains are susually linked to a particular type of tree. If you can avoid going into wooded areas are Coast live Oaks, buckeyes (a member of the chestnut tree) and some pines and spruce trees. These trees grow in abundance in the open space areas of many areas in California and other states. If you dont want to leash your dog, then take it to the beach or to the local (dog) park.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 7:15PM
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