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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 19 October 2002 Issue

Killer Mushrooms Can Kill Curious Canines

Many people don't know that some of the mushrooms growing right in their
backyard can cause severe medical reactions and even death to their dog.

A few years ago while playing in the back yard, our dog Reba swiftly
snatched a mushroom from the ground.  Immediately, I attempted to remove it from her mouth, but she ran from me, digesting the mushroom.  I called our veterinarian only to find out he was out of town for the day. Within just a
few minutes, just as I was calling the "on call" veterinarian, Reba began to
vomit. While talking with the veterinarian staff, I was told because she was
vomiting, it meant that the mushroom was out getting of her system and that
she would be fine.

Two hours later, Reba began to vomit more, the whites of her eyes had a
yellow tint to them, there was blood in her urine and she became very
lethargic.  I called our veterinarian again and he had just returned.  I
immediately brought her in so he could evaluate her.

When we arrived, Reba was very ill and showed signs of liver toxins.  She
was placed on IV fluids for several days and remained at our veterinarians
for nearly a week.  In the end our veterinarian had told us that it was a
miracle that she had survived.  She did suffer some liver damage, amongst
other medical problems, but today we feel very blessed to have her with us.

According to our local poison control, which I did call that same evening to
inquire of any advice I could give to our veterinarian, I was told that what
the on call veterinarian had advised me earlier was far from the truth.
They said the veterinarian should have advised me to bring her in
immediately, and have "activated charcoal" administered to Reba.  They
explained that this would have helped to absorb all of the toxins caused from
the poison, thus a better chance for preventing the toxin attacking her
liver and other organs.

The poison Control had called me several times the entire week Reba was at
the vets to check on her and to offer us support.  On occasion, they even
chatted with me about different ways to help our family cope with the fear
we had concerning if she was going to survive or not.

If this should happen to your dog, or even you suspect it has, please call
your veterinarian as soon as possible. I recommend calling the Poison
Control Center also.  Not just for their expertise on poisons, but also for
the gentle support they might offer to you should your pet ever be in this
situation.  I have not heard of any cases of this happening to other pets
such as horses or cats, but I am sure if they suffer the same reactions as
dogs do when ingesting certain poisonous mushrooms, there might be such
known cases.

Most importantly, please make sure to safeguard your yard against poisonous
mushrooms to protect your pet from ingesting them.  Most of us cannot tell
the difference between the deadly mushrooms and the innocent ones, so it is
important to remove all of them.  By removing them from your yard, it can
save your pet's life.  (Make sure to also protect yourself by using a glove
and washing your hands when removing any mushroom.)

To find your local Poison Control, please look them up in your phone
directory or visit:

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435)
$45 fee may be applied to credit card

Emergency hotline providing 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week telephone assistance
to veterinarians and animal guardians.

For More Info On Mushroom Poison and Dogs:

Staff: [email protected]

Return to Animals in Print 19 Oct 2002 Issue

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Please send comments and submittals to the Editor: Linda Beane [email protected]

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