You probably know that humans can become ill from eating poisonous mushrooms, but did you know that the same is true for dogs? Much like humans, dogs can get very sick if they accidentally ingest toxic mushrooms during time spent outdoors. Fortunately, mushroom poisoning can often be medically resolved if it is detected early.
Types of Toxic Mushrooms
In order to better classify and study them, scientists have divided toxic mushrooms into four distinct classes: types A, B, C, and D. These classes correspond with the severity and type of symptoms associated with mushroom poisoning.
It can be difficult for people who are unfamiliar with mushrooms to identify which type or class of mushroom a dog has consumed, therefore, it is advisable to take the ingsted mushroom with you to the vet’s office.
Symptoms of Toxic Mushroom Poisoning
Again, because toxic mushrooms belong to a variety of different classes that correspond with different symptoms, signs of mushroom poisoning can vary widely. If a dog ingests a category A mushroom (the most toxic of all the groups), it will experience rapid kidney and liver failure.
A dog that ingests a category B or C mushroom will experience nervous system failure, while dogs that ingest category D mushrooms may have gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting, diarrhea, pain in the abdominal area or cramping. If you notice any of these symptoms or uncharacteristic weakness, lethargy, jaundice, drooling, or seizures, a vet should see the dog immediately.
Diagnosis of Toxic Mushroom Poisoning
If you suspect that your dog has mushroom poisoning, the vet will ask you for a complete history of Fido’s health, including whether or not he is up-to-date on vaccination and if any of the symptoms have presented in the past.
The vet will likely ask where the dog was and how long it has been since the onset of symptoms. The veterinarian will order blood work and a urinalysis to check for low blood glucose or excessively elevated levels of liver enzymes, which may indicate liver damage. The vet may also pump the dog’s stomach in order to identify which type of mushroom the dog ingested and better treat the complications.
Treatment of Symptoms
Once your veterinarian has checked the dog over and decided which category of mushroom he likely ate, he or she may order that your pup take an oral dose of active charcoal, which will help stabilize the toxins within his body. Alternately, the vet may decide to induce vomiting or begin fluid therapy to help the dog get rid of the dangerous toxins in his body.
When toxic mushroom poisoning is detected early in dogs, the prognosis is generally good. Typically, dogs that get treatment quickly can recover fully.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian.