Today we're going to talk about mushrooms and how they can be the unsuspecting killer to our loved dogs and cats.
As we know, we're in the rainy, damp, cool season right now and that happens to set up the perfect growing conditions for mushrooms. As I've been out walking dogs in the neighborhoods over the past few weeks, I've spotted them everywhere when I'm on the lookout for them.
Source: Pet MD
But the thing is, there are times when we're out walking our own dogs when we get side tracked and start thinking about what we need to do or end up texting on our phone, and it's when we don't pay attention that some really harmful damage can be done. As we know, dogs like to sniff and eat things even if they're bad for them and with the amount of mushrooms that are growing out there, we need to be on the look out to protect our pets.
So let's talk about mushrooms. There are thousands of types of mushrooms that grow in the wild but only about 100 of them are poisonous (don't worry about the store bought variety, they are non-toxic to our pets, but if you want to play it safe, avoid giving them to Fido and Fluffy). I don't know about you but I certainly don't expect anyone to be able to identify each and every mushroom species. So the most cautious thing to do is to assume that all of the wild mushrooms you encounter are toxic and steer your pet clear of them!
If your pet does ingest a toxic mushroom, they may exhibit symptoms associated with mushroom poisoning which include: vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, lethargy, abdominal pain, jaundice, uncoordinated movements, excessive drooling, seizures, and even a coma.
Depending on the type of mushroom, its level of toxicity, and the amount ingested, symptoms may show up within a few hours or a day or more.
So what should you do if you think your dog ingested a mushroom?
First, if there are any mushrooms left, grab one (or a few) to take with you. The vet may be able to quickly identify whether or not it is toxic or not.
Go to your vet immediately. The quicker the vet can take action, the better chance your pet will have to survive.
Be ready and know the unusual symptoms your pet is exhibiting and the timeline of when they may have ingested the mushroom and started showing these symptoms.
Your vet should perform a complete physical examination as well as a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count. The results may reveal abnormally low blood glucose levels and abnormally high levels of liver enzymes due to the liver damage.
A sample from the stomach may also be taken to identify the type of mushroom.
Often activated charcoal is administered by mouth to bind the toxins present in the stomach and intestines. IV fluids may also be given to enhance urination (and help speed up the elimination of toxins). And depending on the symptoms and severity of your pet's illness, your vet may also choose to induce vomiting.
The good news is that if action is taken quickly enough, your pet has a pretty good chance of getting better, but timing can be everything!
So even though not all mushrooms are toxic to our pets, we need to play it safe and keep them away from these funghi! In an ideal world, everyone would get rid of the mushrooms growing in their yards so we could create a safer environment for our furry loved ones. But until that happens, keep an eye out and don't let your pet ingest any foreign objects while out on your walks!
Have any topics you'd like to see covered in next week's blog? Post them below in the comments!
Have a Waggly Tail Day!