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What is Mushroom Poisoning?

The most common form of documented mushroom poisoning in dogs is toxicity resulting from the Amanita species. It is believed that canines are attracted to members of this species because of their fishy odor. In particular, the amanita phalloides (otherwise known as death cap) are most toxic. It may be hard to confirm if your pet has ingested mushrooms unless you see your dog eat them, or he vomits mushrooms. At the earliest suspicion of ingestion, immediately go to the veterinarian clinic or emergency room. If possible, bring a sample of the mushroom in a paper (not plastic) bag as mushroom identification is helpful to diagnosis.

The ingestion of mushrooms can be highly toxic and a potentially life threatening occurrence for your pet. The accumulation of toxins in your dog’s system can lead to kidney and liver failure, and quite possibly, coma and death. If you suspect your dog has eaten mushrooms, do not wait for symptoms to appear. Take your pet to the veterinarian immediately for early identification of the mushroom type. Identification, and prompt emergency measures to reduce the toxicity levels in your dog’s system are crucial steps towards recovery.

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Symptoms of Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs

The symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs vary depending upon the type of mushroom ingested. As mentioned previously, if you suspect that your dog has eaten a mushroom, do not wait for the symptoms to appear. Usual symptoms are as follows:

  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting and abdominal pain
  • Weakness and loss of motor control
  • Jaundice
  • Coma and death
Types

The type and severity of mushroom poisoning in dogs will vary depending on the species consumed. Based on the toxins contained and the onset of symptoms, toxicity can range from gastrointestinal upset to the more severe complication of the destruction of liver and kidney cells. The amanita phalloides produce the most grave symptoms and the highest likelihood of mortality.

A dog who has ingested a mushroom of the amanita species can experience dehydration and increased heart rate unbeknownst to the owner, appear fine for a day or two but within 3 to 4 days become ill with severe liver dysfunction and swelling of the brain, among other complications that may lead to death within a week if aggressive treatment is not implemented.

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Causes of Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs

There are several thousand species of mushroom in North America, with less than 100 being of the toxic type. Mushroom intoxications are a challenging area of study as not all toxicity cases are submitted on record and limited toxicology testing is available. Nonetheless, it is imperative to have your dog seen by a veterinarian in order to obtain a diagnosis and treatment. The ingestion of mushrooms causes toxins to be spread throughout your dog’s system, resulting in acute effects such as liver failure leading to coma and death without aggressive veterinary intervention.

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Diagnosis of Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs

Diagnosing the need for the reduction of toxins which have been absorbed in your pet’s system must be done quickly in order to increase your dog’s chances of survival. Historically, records show that mortality from the ingestion of the Amanita species is 50% to 90%, thus indicating the need for early aggressive decontamination therapy before symptoms have progressed.

If you are able to bring a sample of the mushroom to the veterinarian, diagnosis will be much easier. If this is not possible, be prepared to relay the recent health history of your pet. You will be asked to describe the symptoms, and give a time of onset of ill behavior to the best of your knowledge. Your veterinarian may need to obtain a blood sample and urinalysis to determine the toxicity levels present.

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Treatment of Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs

Treatment will depend on the type of mushroom ingested. The most common and most severe type of mushroom poisoning in dogs results from the consumption of the amanita phalloides, leading to acute intoxication.

Treatment will often begin with inducing vomiting in your pet to remove toxins from your pet’s stomach as quickly as possible. Fluid therapy is also included in the treatment, which is done specifically to encourage urination and reduce toxicity in the liver and kidneys. Activated charcoal has been given to by mouth to dogs as a way to neutralize the stomach acids and bind the toxins.

Glucose and gastrointestinal protectants are also administered, along with antibiotics. Blood transfusion may be necessary in severe cases.

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Recovery of Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs

Your dog will spend a few days minimum in the hospital if they have ingested mushrooms of the amanita species because of the need to rehydrate with fluids that will restore the proper amounts of glucose and potassium to the blood. The liver will need to be monitored to verify proper function after reparative therapy. A positive prognosis is possible, particularly if the toxins were eliminated quickly before extensive damage was done. Treatment for mushroom poisoning in dogs is extensive and the therapy must be done over a period of hours and/or days depending on the amount consumed and the species ingested.

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Mushroom Poisoning Average Cost

From 11 quotes ranging from $300 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,200

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Mushroom Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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French Bulldog

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Eleven Months

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Unknown severity

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

Hello. As I was helping my son on his bike on our walk, I noticed our frenchie messing with something in the grass..I suspected it was just mulch and we continued on. I went to the store quickly and started dinner and it wasn’t until about an hour after our walk that I found throw up in the bedroom and then witnessed him throw up about 5 other times (last couple times it was only water that I gave him). He had diarrhea inside (fully potty trained) and was just not acting like himself. Called vet a few hrs ago and they suggested keeping a close eye and following up in the am. Any more advice?

Nov. 17, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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3 Recommendations

I'm sorry to hear this. I would watch closely for signs of toxicity including tremors, continued salivation, pale gums, confusion etc. He should settle and sleep. Offer fresh chicken and water to help settle his stomach. If you have any concerns, don't hesitate to contact the emergency vet.

Nov. 17, 2020

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Lab

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4 months

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None Yet

He ate a little bit of a mushroom

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Some mushrooms are harmless, and some are quite toxic. It would be best to monitor him closely for any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite or lethargy, and have him seen by a veterinarian right away if he is showing any of those signs. I hope that all goes well for him!

Oct. 5, 2020

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Jack Russell Terrier

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Ten Weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

My puppy chewed on a mushroom in the grass on a walk this evening; pulled it out of her mouth. No symptoms 2 1/2 hours later. Could not induce vomiting.

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in my reply, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. It is possible that the mushroom was not toxic, and you removed it from her mouth quickly enough. If she is still having any problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 19, 2020

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Pitbull

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Seven Months

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Vomiting

My dog got into a mushroom in the yard, few moments later he throw a lot of it up if not all of it... drank water and had Some ice cubes and then about 10 minutes later he just threw up again but it was not chunky just liquid/ acidity. Should I be concerned?

Sept. 15, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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3 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Some mushrooms can be very toxic, unfortunately, but it sounds like you may have gotten lucky if he vomited most or all of it up right after he ate it. At this point, I don't think there's anything that you need to worry about as far as taking him to the ER. I would watch him very closely over the next 24 hours, however. If he continues to vomit, or seems lethargic or unstable, or is acting strangely in any way, then I would take him in right away. Hopefully, he got it all out of his system and it just upset his stomach a little bit. I hope that all goes well for him.

Sept. 15, 2020

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Labrador Retriever

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7 weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Nothing

My puppy had a mushroom in his mouth. I was able to remove it before he swallow.

July 31, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. If you were able to take the mushroom out of his mouth before he swallowed it, I suspect he will be okay. If he shows any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or loss of appetite, then it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian, but it seems that he will likely be okay.

July 31, 2020

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Happy

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Jack Russell/ Yorkie/Hasvanese

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6 Months

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

My dog ate a whole mushroom that we found under a tree. He did not eat the stump, however, the mushroom was by itself and spotted. It was white. My dog is just a puppy and he threw up 5 minutes after eating it. What should we do? We cannot go to the vet because of Covid19. We can see his kibble, homemade food, and the pieces of mushroom in his vomit.

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Saint

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Jack Russell Terrier

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10 Weeks

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea And Possible Vomiting

My puppy is around 10 weeks old and I caught my puppy eating something white it looked to be a mushroom. I left for a couple errands and returned home to find poop everywhere around and in his kennel I suspect he couldn’t stand in one place while doing his business. I have yet to see any vomit but i believe there was some of that as well. It is 1am in the morning and I’m not sure what to do.

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Ellie

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Chocolate English lab

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22 Months

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

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No Symptoms

My chocolate lab Ellie ate a few mushrooms in our backyard on a Friday evening after work. Induced vomiting and she threw everything back up. Was not worried. She acted fine the next day. Sunday she found more mushrooms and ate them. Tried to induce vomiting again and it did not work. Instructed to take her to the ER per poison control. They took ellie back and gave her a strong medication and she threw up the mushroom. Because they were unsure if the mushrooms were toxic they highly recommended she stay overnight and they pumped her with fluids and gave her activated charcoal to absorb any toxins. She did really great and showed no signs of toxicity. She stayed at our primary care vet all day Monday and they monitored her. She is doing well. Thursday we are going back to the vet for another blood sample to test liver enzymes.

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Chloe

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Chihuahua

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4 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Shaking, Not Eating Or Drinking,

My female Chihuahua may have ingested a mushroom Saturday evening. I noticed her acting strange on Sunday afternoon..not wanting to walk, back legs seem affected. Her tail is hanging down, which is odd. She isn't eating or drinking, shaking and not doing anything but laying around. She did eat a little something on Sunday evening. I was able to feed her water out of my hand today and she ate a little chicken. I have boiled her some rice too. I dont know what to do, can't afford to take her to the vet. Pls help with any advice for home treatment. Not really sure what she ingested but online research gave me suspicions of mushroom ingestion.

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Ozzy

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Pomeranian

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12 Years

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Vomiting

We think our 12 year old dog Ozzy ingested mushrooms either Friday sometime or very early Saturday morning. Saturday about an hour or two after breakfast he vomited and had a yellowish/brownish diarrhea. He did not have much of an appetite Saturday or Sunday. Diarrhea again middle of the night Saturday, and again Sunday morning. Fine the rest of the day Sunday and then we found what looked to be mushrooms in his diarrhea Sunday night. It is now Thursday and he has had diarrhea 2 -3 times per day since. He still urinates normally. Behavior, demeanor seem ok (maybe a little fatigued? but he's always been kind of a lazy guy anyway) and his appetite seems normal as well. No vomiting following a meal since Sunday, only seems to vomit during or immediately following diarrhea. Last this happened was night before last. Does not appear to be in any more discomfort (not like he was 4-5 days ago) but still no solid stools. Is there anything we can do for him at home? We thought about Pedialyte with an oral syringe to assist with electrolyte balance and hydration but are otherwise stuck on how to help him? It's been 6-7 days since possible ingestion and only symptoms now is the infrequent diarrhea.

Mushroom Poisoning Average Cost

From 11 quotes ranging from $300 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,200

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