Mushroom Poisoning In Dogs And Cats

Jul 5, 2020 | Health, Pets

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful July 4th weekend.
 
Today’s post was very easy to come up with because I’ve received several suggestions on blog ideas and poisonous mushrooms was one of them.  Last year we had a problem with mushroom beds growing in our mulch and this year, a good friend of mine is experience them popping up all over her lawn.  Did you know there are over 100 poisonous mushrooms out there but there is nothing to fear about buying them at the grocery store.  These are safe and non-toxic to humans and dogs.  Depending on what type of mushroom is accidentally ingested, poisoning can be seen even with just a small bite. Mushrooms are very difficult to identify, and that should only be done by mycologists (see this website:  https://namyco.org)
 

New July 4th bowes and ties from The Pampered Pooches via Instagram @thepamperedpooches

When in doubt, veterinarians always assume worst-case scenario; that each mushroom is poisonous when ingested by dogs or cats. When it comes to mushrooms, they can result in different types of poisoning, depending on what species of mushroom is ingested.  Get your pet to the your vet immediately if you think your dog or cat has injected mushrooms.
 
  • The most dangerous type of mushroom is the Amanita, which contains amanitin toxins. Clinical signs seen from this mushroom include severe gastrointestinal signs (within 6-24 hours), a “false recovery” period (where your dog appears to get better), and then severe liver failure (at 36-48 hours post-mushroom exposure). Acute kidney injury (AKI) can also develop in the end stages. These types of deadly mushrooms include Amanita, Galerina, Lepiota, A. phalloids (death cap, death angel), and A. ocreata.
  • The Inocybe spp. and Clitocybe dealbata mushrooms contain the toxin muscarine and cause profuse SLUDE signs (e.g., salivation, lacrimation, urination, diarrhea) and neurologic signs.
  • Amanita muscaria and A. pantherina are a different type of Amanita that contain the toxins muscimol and ibotenic acid. Clinical signs from this type of mushroom include ‘walking drunk,’ severe sedation, tremors or even seizures.
  • The false morel (Gyromitra spp.) causes profuse vomiting and diarrhea and is generally not fatal. Rarely, it can cause seizures.
  • Some types of mushrooms just cause gastrointestinal irritation (e.g., vomiting and diarrhea) and are rarely life threatening when ingested. Signs can be seen in 1-6 hours, and generally resolve after 1-2 days. These types of mushrooms include the following types: Agaricus, Boletus, Entoloma.
  • Hallucinogenic mushrooms aren’t life-threatening and rarely need treatment. That said, signs of ataxia, acting abnormal, howling, abnormal eye movement and hyperthermia can be seen when dogs ingest them. These types of mushrooms include the following types: Psilocybe, Conocybe, Gymnopilus spp.
 

Signs of mushrooms toxicity in dogs
Depending on the type of mushroom, how much, and the length of time since they ate it, the signs of toxicity will vary. But, common signs might include any of the following:

  • Wobbling, loss of balance, or walking as if drunk (“ataxia”)
  • Vomiting
  • Salivating
  • Yellowing of skin and “whites of eyes”
  • Sleep-like coma
  • Seizures
 
The onset of illness is fast with signs occurring in 30 minutes up to 6 hours in cats.
Signs include:
 
  • Weakness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Vocalizations
  • Disorientation
  • Agitation
  • Seizures
  • These toxins can also affect the kidneys and liver causing a myriad of problems.
The best preventive step you can take is to clear out ALL mushrooms in your yard, regardless of what they look like— especially where your dog has easy, unsupervised access. Some of the most common and dangerous types of mushrooms for dogs are in the Amanita family, like the aptly-named “Death Cap” mushroom—which, because of their “fishy” odor and taste, are often very attractive to dogs. Ingestion of even a small amount of some Amanitamushrooms can severely sicken or kill a dog because of the devastating effect they can have on the liver.
What to do if you suspect toxic mushrooms in your yard:
If you see mushrooms in your yard, carefully remove one or two and bring them for identification to a local garden store or a local mushroom (mycology) expert. Alternatively, you can take pictures of the mushrooms for identification (just make sure you photograph all of the identifying parts – the gills, the cap, the base of the stem, etc.).

Because mushroom growths can be difficult to fully get rid of, it’s best to consult with a local expert on ways to deal with them in your yard. And if the mushrooms in question are confirmed to be toxic to dogs and cats, be sure to keep them out of the yard (or at least that part) until the mushrooms are removed or sectioned off.

If you’ve got mushrooms in your yard, take a look at the articles and resources below. They can better help you identify and react to those little fungi popping up all over the place. And hopefully they will help you and your pup better enjoy your walks together and romps in the yard.
 
If you’re worried that your pet may have eaten a poisonous mushroom get samples and good pictures of the mushroom(s) and then contact your veterinarian, local Animal ER, or a Pet Poison Hotline immediately! You can also upload your photos and where the mushrooms were found to the Poisons Help: EMERGENCY Identification for Mushrooms & Plants Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/144798092849300) – this open Facebook group can be a great resource in the event of an unknown mushroom or plant ingestion by your cat or dog. The admins are skilled at mushroom & plant ID and typically respond quite quickly. Be sure to have good pics of the offending plant or mushrooms, from all angles and in good light, as these will be crucial to help ensure the best chance of an ID.
 
More recourses on poisonous mushrooms:
 
 
 

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2 Comments

  1. Sharon

    Good morning to you! Thanks for this timely blog. Your resources are excellent. I am going outside now to double check!

    Reply
    • Bobbi

      Good morning! Thank you. I’m so glad you found this post helpful. Keep me posted on what you find.

      Reply

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