Dog Eating Wild Mushrooms: Pekingese and Mushrooms Don’t Mix


Dog Eating Wild Mushrooms: Pekingese and Mushrooms Don’t Mix

Wild mushrooms. They pop up just about anywhere – backyards, alongside the roads, parks, woods, near the lake, etc… Thus the possibility of your dog eating wild mushrooms is quite high if you aren’t too careful. Some dog breeds are simply like humans, they like to eat those mushrooms. This can be a sumptuous gourmet delicacy or downright deadly poisonous! They are mushrooms after all.

Not all mushrooms are deadly, yet if you aren’t an expert then it is quite hard to identify which is which, so better avoid them altogether. However, you can also do your own research over the net and compare images and texts about  the poisonous and nonpoisonous mushrooms. And generally, these mushrooms tend to grow together side by side. If you want to identify what kind of mushrooms grow in your yard, you need the help of a fungus specialist (Mycologist) or from a person who has been dealing with wild mushrooms for years and is an expert about it already. Most mycologists are found in universities or colleges or even at the botanical institutes.

Most mushrooms that you can see everywhere are coined as LBM’s (Little Brown Mushrooms) and are nontoxic. However, if a dog ingested a mushroom our vet usually recommends induced vomiting and activated charcoal is also given not unless the whole mushroom is seen in his vomit.

Dog Eating Wild Mushrooms

Every region of the country is different in terms of mushroom flora. Where I live in northern California, Amanita phalloides (aka Death Cap) is the most common poisonous species and grows year round particularly in soil surrounding oak trees. 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.

Source: The Bark, by Nancy Kay, DVM

Signs and Symptoms of Mushroom Poisoning

  • GI irritation. This the most common symptom though not considered as a sign of fatality. Diarrhea and vomiting occurs within the next 6 hours from ingestion and the stomach upset usually lasts for 24 hours.
  • Muscarinic signs. Muscarinic effects would include excessive tear production and salivation. Pupils appear to be constricted and small. Slow heartbeat (bradycardia) is the most serious clinical sign and this would need utmost veterinary care.
  • Lethargy and depression. If you see abdominal pains, colic and vomiting, then this sign is very dangerous already. Mushrooms can cause liver failure thus causing your dog to have jaundice (his white portion of the eyes turns yellow.) And since it is the liver who is the one who controls the blood-clotting factors, then now your dog is very prone to bleeding.
  • Hallucinogenic Syndrome. Magic mushrooms (ones with liberty caps or blue legs) are the ones who can cause this syndrome. Behavioral changes would include restlessness and hallucinations. He may even snap at invisible insects, appear to be depressed, stagger while walking or worse become comatose. Seek professional help immediately.

What to Do

If you caught him in the act eating:

1. Remove all pieces from his mouth.
2. Induce vomiting by using either:

  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide – 1 tbsp every 10 minutes, repeat it 3 times.
  • Syrup of Ipecac – 1 tsp per 10 pounds of body weight.

3. Call your Vet immediately.

If you realized him eating it a bit late:

  1. Go get some specimens on what kind of mushrooms he was eating.
  2. Take him to the nearest Animal hospital or clinic and call your Vet.

If ingested and symptoms are already present:
Bring him ASAP to the nearest hospital or clinic.

Mushrooms in your yard should be immediately removed prior to your pet noticing it in order to avoid any incident of your dog eating wild mushrooms. If you suspect him ingesting it, keep a sample of his vomitus  and feces and place it in a plastic bag and refrigerate it. Try to have it identified within 24 hours. Call your vet immediately on what happened and bring your pet to him the soonest time possible.

Have you checked your backyard for mushrooms already? If not, better do it soon in order to be sure and to avoid any bad incident from happening in the future.  Tell us about your backyard mushroom hunting on the comment box below.



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