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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 wild 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 wild 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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Mushroom Poisoning Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$1,200

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 wild 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, will appear fine for a day or two, but within 3 to 4 days become ill with severe liver dysfunction and swelling of the brain. The effects 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, potentially 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 transfusions, oxygen and anti-seizure medicine 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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Mushroom Poisoning Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$1,200

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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