Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
10 December 2000 Issue

Warning: Mushroom Alert

My 6 year old Sheltie, Mendi, had a normal day, I fed her and her sister at 5pm, and at 5:30 let them outside. Fifteen minutes later they came in, and Mendi started throwing up violently, one after the other. Her breathing was hard and labored. I noticed her ruff was full of saliva, and it was just rolling out of her mouth. I called her vet, just then realizing she couldn't swallow.

The vet told me to pick up my keys and my dog and get her to the Emergency Hospital, now. Before the end of the call, she was in shock. At the hospital, they started IV's and X-rays for foreign objects, which were negative. The blood test results indicated a toxin, and her liver was shutting down, with all other body functions failing as well. Toxins and poisons like arsenic, etc. had all been ruled out. Mendi by now was vomiting blood and had blood gushing from her rectum. I went home to check the yard, the weather had changed from warm rains of the last few days to sleet.

I found nothing in the yard. Mendi continued losing blood, and blood test results became more grim. My husband in a conference call with me, the hospital and her vet, said what about mushrooms? I rushed home to look, and found one small mushroom that was now frozen. The vet began calling University docs, CDC, and poison control. They all said yes, the way her case presented, it was very possibly caused by poison mushrooms. They made recommendations for treatment. For the next 76 hours, there was no improvement, and she continued to vomit blood and her intestines were still bleeding out from the rectum. The vet continued to consult all over, and was on-line to VIN network. A vet in Maryland recommended she start on Milk Thistle (an herb), and SAME, an antioxidant. At that point there were no more options.

She was started on those, and within 24 hours showed some slight improvement in one test. The next 48 hours were touch and go, then finally, after 6 days, she lifted her head, although she still did not respond to my voice. On the seventh day she suddenly got better, and they kept her on IV's and treatment.

Late that night I was able to bring her home, and now, two days later, she is eating and going out although she is weak. Now...the mushrooms. They were the kind that shoots up suddenly in your grass after rains. Being overprotective, I had for many years checked for them at least twice a day, and removed them. The day it happened was very stormy, and I hadn't checked. It seems that 80% of the time, those mushrooms are very poisonous. The ordeal was a total nightmare....please warn other pet owners.

Go on to Soynog, Vegan Eggnog
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