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Mushrooms Can Poison Dogs

Heavy rains in Arizona heighten danger
By Karen B. London PhD, September 2010, Updated June 2021

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?

 

Photo: Paula / Pexels

Karen B. London, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression. Karen writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about canine training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life