Q & A: Munching mushrooms

Q: Should I be worried if I see my dog might have eaten a mushroom from the garden?

A: The answer is YES! Certain types of mushrooms can be fatal to our pooches. I should know, I lost two of my dogs to mushroom toxicity when I was still studying to be a vet. The ingestion of certain types of mushrooms can result in liver failure.

So if you even suspect he has eaten one, here is what to do:

  • Try to get him to vomit at home.

Take some washing powder, wet it a bit and roll it into a grape-sized ball, then feed it to your pooch as if it was a deworming tablet. He should vomit within three minutes.

  • Take him to your vet.

If he did not vomit at home, your vet will give him something to get him to vomit. The best treatment is to put him on a drip for a day to help support his liver. He should be fed activated charcoal to bind toxins and a laxative. Your vet might also want to run some blood tests.

  • Back at home.

Check your garden for any mushrooms. Watch that your pooch does not start to vomit or stop eating. He must not have bloody diarrhoea.

This might sound like overkill for ‘my dog might have eaten a mushroom’, but it could be the difference between life and death. Rather be safe than sorry.

Dr Kristen Lachenicht, veterinarian


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