Many Web pages offer information regarding the toxicity of mushrooms in most creatures. However many people are not aware that some species of exotic mushrooms can be deadly to animals and particularly dogs. I am writing this article with the hopes that it will educate you on why your canine friend should never have access to any kind of mushroom or fungus species.
It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to health issues with your prized pet. Some species may say they are “edible” but I would still avoid feeding them and would question who told me their edibility.
I will mention some of the most common species to look out for and their symptoms of ingestion. I will also list some of the most deadly mushrooms in order for you to be aware of how serious poisoning can be.
The first poisonous mushroom is called, amanita phalloides or more commonly known as “Death Cap.” The name speaks for itself in my opinion. This type has no smell or taste, therefore, they are difficult to detect when used in poisoning dishes, however, if left alone its cap begins to turn green then yellow with white patches on top that resemble an egg mass.
Eventually, the cap dries up and goes into a slimy state before finally cracking open revealing its gills which are white at first but eventually become light greenish in color. The body is entirely white with occasional yellow stains. This mushroom contains high levels of toxins that are extremely poisonous if ingested.
Symptoms usually occur within four to six hours after ingestion and start with vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and abdominal pain. One day later jaundice will begin to set in followed by the liver shutting down completely by days three or four. Death can either be caused by respiratory failure or hepatic failure(liver shut down.)
Lethal dosage in humans is around one-half ounce which is equivalent to about seven grams for an average-sized adult weighing 150 pounds. This does not mean you cannot eat it but I would think twice before putting it into your mouth if you know what these fungi can do to you.
Also called Amanita phalloides or the death cap is a fungus that is deadly if eaten and may cause liver and kidney failure
The second poisonous mushroom is called amanita ocreata which contains high levels of muscarine alkaloids. This type has no smell or taste as well and can be confused with edible mushrooms such as the meadow mushroom, Agaricus campestris(Agaric.) The reason for this confusion is that A.campestris grows in fields where A phalloides does not grow therefore people may think they are safe from ingesting poisonous fungi.
If consumed both of these types will have similar effects on pets, humans, and especially children who would more than likely mistake it for something they can eat. Symptoms include abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, and vomiting followed by diarrhea that lasts around six to twelve hours. One extremely dangerous effect that it contains is muscle spasms which can cause breathing problems in some cases. This would be especially fatal if your pet was not able to breathe because of the effects of muscarine poisoning causing respiratory paralysis.
The third poisonous species are called Cortinarius speciosissimus or “Fool’s mushroom” They are found mainly in the southwestern United States although I do believe there are other similar species spread across North America. These mushrooms contain high levels of orellanine, a water-soluble toxin that causes renal failure when ingested. Usually, within twenty-four hours of ingestion, your pet will begin to have abdominal pain, anorexia(lack of appetite), and fever followed by diarrhea.
By day three or four you will notice jaundice in its eye color and lower back area which indicates a problem in the kidneys. These mushrooms usually grow in moist well-shaded areas in soil that are rich with decaying organic matter such as leaves or needles from trees.
Symptoms can also be seen if one were to inhale its spores however I would not recommend this approach because it does contain some toxins when ingested orally. Although these species do contain orellanine the good news is they are only lethal to humans if consumed several times instead of just once like most other poisonous fungi.