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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 Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer whose clinical work over the last 17 years has focused on the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in dogs, especially aggression. Karen has been writing the behavior column for The Bark since 2012 and wrote The Bark’s training column and various other articles for eight years before that. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, and teaches a tropical field biology course in Costa Rica. Karen writes an animal column, The London Zoo, which appear in The Arizona Daily Sun and is the author of five books on canine training and behavior. She is working on her next book, which she expects to be published in 2017.

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