Menacing mushrooms

By Connie Orcutt • Published: April 1st, 2014
Category: Animal Airwaves

Although 99 percent of mushrooms are nontoxic, the remaining 1 percent can be fatal to our four-legged friends.

Cats very rarely munch on mushrooms, but the dried species they favor — Amanita muscaria and Amanita pantherina — can sometimes be lethal. Dogs also prefer those species, perhaps because of their fishy odors. Problems may not arise until six to 12 hours later when dogs can suffer severe gastrointestinal distress. They can then fall into a coma-like sleep for up to 72 hours. Thankfully, most dogs will recover, but a less experienced veterinarian may recommend euthanasia during this time.

If possible, determining the identity of the mushroom meal is important. If you think your pet has tasted a toxic fungus, get them and the mushroom to the veterinarian as soon as possible.