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Mushrooms Can Poison Dogs
Heavy rains in Arizona heighten danger
A variety of mushrooms in a Korean grocery

Veterinarian Julianne Miller, in an interview with Arizona Public Radio, says that she has seen three times as many cases of mushroom toxicity in dogs this summer compared with previous years. The reason for the increase is that Flagstaff, Ariz., has had the fourth wettest monsoon season ever, with nearly 10 inches of rain in just over two months. Fungi thrive in the wetness caused by heavy rains, and are doing so well that the forests even smell like mushrooms.

 
Many wild mushrooms are dangerous for dogs. Liver damage and death are possible, although Miller has not seen either of these this summer. Presenting problems include vomiting, body tremors, twitching, drooling, wobbling, salivating, or even seizures. Dogs, like people, can also experience hallucinations after consuming some types of mushrooms.
 
The best way to prevent dogs from eating mushrooms is to limit their access to them. Removing all visible fungi from yards to prevent dogs from going after them is wise, because many dogs do not learn to avoid them even after an experience with toxic mushrooms. Avoid walks in heavily mushroom-infested areas and leash your dog in areas with them if your dog is the type to try them.
 
Has your dog ever suffered ill effects from consuming wild mushrooms?

 

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Anonymous | September 8 2010 |

I had a chihuahua that died from eating mushrooms in our yard and got posioned. Still the worst day in my life:( We had a very small patio yard at the time and those damn things were hidden under a big leafed plant away from view.
8 years later, I have a big backyard and a huge sign posted on my door during the damp months reminding me to check the yard daily for mushrooms. I still find them often and always removed them instantly.
Also, make sure you know if other poisonous plants are growing in or around your yard/neighborhood. My dogs eat everything and im so parinoid now for good reason.

Submitted by Karen London | September 8 2010 |

I am so sorry to hear what happened to your chihuahua. Good for you for being so vigilant. And you're very wise to be aware of other poisonous plants. Thank you for that reminder!

Submitted by squeaker | May 8 2011 |

Just lost my Pug yesterday from eating mushrooms. He was very food driven and I didn't know that they could be deadly. Never really had a dog before that was interested in them. Happened really fast. He was drooling/eyes tearing within minutes on ingesting them. Later vomiting/diarrhea. So sad and I miss him. Wish I would have known before what I know now. Glad to see you page and hope it can help someone before things get ugly.

Submitted by Maura | May 9 2011 |

Thank you and I'm SOOO sorry for your recent loss:( It's such a hard time loosing a dog.
Yes- help spead the word indeed!

Submitted by Christina | September 23 2010 |

I just lost my 3 month old puppy to mushrooms. My roommate and I had no idea they were so dangerous. I'm letting ALL of my friends know how bad they can be.

Submitted by Anonymous | July 24 2011 |

My yard is covered with more than 10 varieties of mushrooms. My puppy is obsessed with eating them. I try to go through the yard each a few times and pull up all that I can find, but I can't always see them all. And each time I go out, each day, there are more. My puppy wants them so badly that he only focuses on finding them, and will not go potty. And after he eats the mushrooms his behavior is so erratic, and wild. He runs around the house as fast as he can and won't stop, and he barks at me and growls at me, he has even tried to bite me when I had him outside and was trying to pull a mushroom up before he could get to it. I know that the mushrooms are having a psychogenic effect on him, but I'm worried that he will get the wrong one and it will kill him.

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