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:
- Vomiting and abdominal pain
- Weakness and loss of motor control
- Coma and death
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mushroom Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Can we treat Levi at home? He started with eye drainage. Yesterday, Levi started Seizing. We do have small mushrooms in grass on property. Eye drainage started 5 weeks ago. He is about 80 pounds.
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i think that my dog ate mushrooms will egg whites absorb the poison with hydration we have mushrooms around our house we were outside last night i thing he ate them
If you suspect that Spanky has eaten poisonous mushrooms you should have induced vomiting and gone to see your Veterinarian for supportive care. The use of egg whites are documented in being used in poisoning cases but I am not aware of the effectiveness in different poisoning cases, but the administration of hydrogen peroxide 3% followed by activated charcoal is the best course of treatment. Only a small number of mushroom species are poisonous, others may just cause stomach upset. If in any doubt, please visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
I just wanted to know if spank is ok?
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