Not so Fun-gi for our pets!
During autumn, it is not unusual to come across mushrooms when out walking your dog.
Fungi, otherwise known as wild mushrooms or toadstools, come in thousands of different varieties, which vary in size, shape, colour and toxicity to pets. Some fungi can be easily identified, but it can be much more challenging to identify wild mushroom varieties – often very similar in appearance, it can be difficult to identify edible versions from poisonous versions.
Mushrooms are ranked in a scale of A to D for toxicity – the A species causing most severe symptoms, and D species causing sickness and diarrhoea. In the UK, a few of the most toxic species include:
- Amanita phalloides (Death cap) – most commonly associated with mushroom poisonings across the world
- Cortinarius rubellus (Deadly webcap)
- Amanita virosa (Destroying angel)
- Galerina marginata (Funeral bell)
- Clitocybe rivulose (Fool’s funeral)
- Amanita pantherine (Panther cap)
- Pleurocybella porrigens (Angel’s wings)
Symptoms of fungi poisoning differ depending on the variety that has been ingested, and can include:
- Increased salivation
- Stomach upset including abdomen discomfort, vomiting and diarrhoea which may contain blood
- Neurological effects including seizures
- Increased urination which could be a sign of kidney failure
Depending on the species of mushroom, the symptoms can develops quickly (within 10 minutes), or may be delayed by a few days or even weeks.
If you suspect your dog may have eaten, or have seen them ingest an unknown wild mushroom, please contact your Independent veterinary practice, Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, as soon as possible to obtain guidance from our team. It is a good idea to take a photo of the mushroom, or get a sample if possible, as well as recording where it was found (such as in grass or on tree stump), as these details will help identify the variety. If your dog sniffs, licks or touches a mushroom, you do not need to worry, it is only if you know (or are unsure) that it was ingested that we recommend contacting the practice.
To minimise mushroom poisoning, it can be helpful to teach a command such as ‘drop’ or ‘leave’ to ensure they drop an item if they are told too.