Unfortunately, this food item is controversial, with the safest suggestion being that dogs should not eat any mushrooms, but especially should not eat any wild mushrooms found on walks.
The controversy about mushrooms is whether or not store-bought mushrooms, such button or Portobello mushrooms, are OK for dogs. Some experts claim that mushrooms sold in large grocery store chains are safe, however, the overwhelming majority of specialists suggest avoiding mushrooms altogether to avoid a toxic accident. The AKC suggests to avoid mushrooms.
While less than 100 of the 50,000 known mushroom species are toxic, but if your dog goes on hikes and walks in the wild mushrooms are going to repeatedly found. There is a popular misconception that dogs will instinctively avoid a poisonous mushroom, but that is not true. This is a falsehood. Dogs will often eat something out of curiosity that can kill them, mushrooms being one of them.
According to the AKC, there are six mushrooms that cause dogs “the most problems:
- Amanita gemmata, or “jeweled deathcap”
- Amanita muscaria, called “fly agaric” or “Deadly Agaric”
- Amanita phalloides, known colloquially as “death cap”
- Galerina marginata, known as “deadly Galerina” or “Galerina autumnalis”
- Gyromitra spp., or false morel
- Inocybe spp. and Clitocybe dealbata mushrooms
“The symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs depend on the species of mushroom. Certain mushroom species contain different toxins, which affect dogs differently.
“For instance, Amanita mushrooms contain amanitin toxins. These cause severe GI symptoms, a false recovery period where the dog seems to feel better, and then liver failure, acute kidney injury, and death.
“Inocybe spp. and Clitocybe dealbata mushrooms cause salivation, eye watering, increased urination, diarrhea, and neurological signs.
“Other types of Amanita mushrooms cause sedation, tremors, “walking drunk,” and seizures, and the false morel causes profuse vomiting and diarrhea, but is usually not fatal.
“Other types of mushrooms simply cause GI upset, and while these are rarely life threatening, it can be very hard to determine the type of mushroom ingested based on early symptoms.
“We also don’t always know that our dogs have eaten mushrooms. Here is a list of the more common symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs to help you keep a watchful eye on your canine companion:
- Ataxia (staggering gait)
- Liver failure
- Abdominal pain
“The toxic effects of mushrooms can also depend on any underlying condition your dog may have, or on a combination of ingested substances.”
If you fear you dog has ingested a mushroom, attempt to get a sample of the mushroom and contact your veterinarian immediately. Ideally, wrap the mushroom in a damp paper towel to avoid touching it directly with your skin.
Your vet will likely want to induce vomiting so if your dog vomits, do not worry; that is good. You want to get the mushroom out as quickly as possible.
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