Mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. These fungi are generally used for their anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, with some subsegment of them being used for medicinal purposes.
In particular, we refer to the commonly known “red” mushrooms on the market today. Are red mushrooms poisonous to dogs? Before diving deeper into the topic, let us learn a little bit more about the different kinds of “red” mushrooms.
Are All Wild Mushrooms Toxic?
In general, most mushrooms are not toxic to dogs. The ones that should be avoided include:
King Stropharia (found in many wild places) — this is often consumed by cats and can cause a severe kidney disorder called a hemolytic uremic syndrome, where the damage caused makes it difficult for your pet’s kidneys to remove waste products from its blood – so the buildup of these toxins causes renal failure eventually; ingestion may also lead to severe GI upset, including ulceration and bleeding diarrhea.
Chanterelles (found around wooded areas) — this fungus is considered poisonous because it contains a compound called muscarine, which causes severe irritation at the point of contact. If ingested by your dog can lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It must be noted that some people claim they have found dead birds after eating these mushrooms – but I hold those claims in somewhat low regard unless demonstrated by a lab test from an official veterinarian.
Symptoms of Mushroom Toxicity in Dogs:
Don’t overlook that many “red” mushrooms also contain other toxins besides muscarine. Thus, dogs who eat these may experience symptoms as described above, or they may show no signs of poisoning at all; this largely depends on how much mushroom your dog eats and which ones he ate.
Most symptoms are associated with hepatic encephalopathy (abdominal pain, vomiting, lack of appetite). Still, there can be additional digestive issues such as diarrhea, ulceration of the GI tract, or even seizures.
If you suspect your dog has ingested a toxin found in mushrooms, require immediate veterinary treatment. Once removed from his system, it is not known what effects eating only 1% of an 8-ounce (238g) mushroom will have on him; however, this would be considered moderate exposure and unlikely to cause serious problems by itself but may heighten adverse reactions if anti-toxic compounds from the mushroom are taken into his system.
If you suspect your dog has been exposed to red or other common toxic mushrooms, contact your veterinarian immediately, as this can result in irreversible damage to internal organs if left untreated.
How Is Mushroom Toxicity Diagnosed?
Depending on the suspected species, symptoms and differences between dogs varies, but generally, there are two primary types of tests.
1) Typical laboratory methods used to determine an individual’s toxic profile involve analyzing body fluids like blood or urine for toxins. Here you can look at a range of toxicants such as muscarine, amatoxin, agaritine, etc.
These may be found in copious amounts; however, we don’t know how much or how toxic they are to your dog or the symptoms that can result from consuming them.
The primary benefit of this test is determining what a given toxin looks like and the range it tends toward; furthermore, sometimes identifying this type of information will give you an idea of what he ate, so toxicity profiles have clinical implications in terms of the treatment protocol.
2) Identification by testing stomach contents – these tests involve analyzing unknown organic matter found in stool samples with feces in a gas-streaming machine. This process separates the compound based on its components.
Most dogs we’ve encountered tend to show strong reactions to amatoxins, muscarine, or another common toxin found in mushrooms. The range of effects varies very much between dog breeds.
Usually, it is with reaction times, but they can be allergies, so alterations may have occurred that impact potency/toxicity assessment (see also our FAQ below).
Also, results may vary due to inflamed intestines, other organ issues, etc., so getting a mold history from your vet may be useful too.
5 Common Treatments for Mushroom Poisoning In Dogs:
There are a plethora of treatments for toxic mushroom ingestion. Still, we’ve looked at several commonly used ones that have been well studied:
1. Administration of Activated Charcoal:
Reactions to mushrooms can be fast and strongly negative, with bloody diarrhea and vomit that appear sour-tasting. Cases of mushroom poisoning in animals are commonly observed along the Pacific Northwest coast area.
Here we see a Canis/Chow mix treated for toxicity at my vet’s facilities. He appears to have ingested some white button mushrooms, which were 3″ long by 1″. The activated charcoal was soaked in water twice over 24 hours, the dog slept through this process.
This can be an effective treatment method for these types of illnesses, albeit one where many impurities will get into your urinary tract so keep that in mind.
2. Induce Vomiting:
This method of inducing Vomiting can help in cases where your dog may not swallow, but antibiotics do well against toxins, so don’t feel as though you need to use both. There are a variety of ways which induce vomiting, some more dangerous than others – e.g.:
Note the bright pink hue this food shows due to red coloring added for effect: An orange syringe has been poked into his nostril, and by cupping my hand, I was able to inject a small dose into his mouth. Other methods include:
Sterile water is used via an eyedropper on the fore- and rear ends of the food bowl, sometimes with careful pushing one can induce Vomiting by dribbling like so: Some veterinarians will combine these two techniques along with inducing Vomiting every 2 hours: Again, this method may also result in impurities getting deep into your dog’s intestines, but again if using an effective antibiotic like penicillin I doubt that this will happen.
Additional methods you might use are Frozen peas/cubes to Induce Vomiting, rice without the food in it, and/or throwing up into a sink, or simply giving your dog some time (1-2 days). If he is still having issues with eating, then call the vet, and unfortunately, not all vets have overnight vomiting clinics.
3. IV Therapy:
Using a Sphygmomanometer, which is like an IV (Intravenous injection), you can drip a large dose of antibiotics directly into your dog’s vein as if giving it to them orally. Or alternatively, in cases where the dog is unable to swallow, you may infuse IM heroically.
WARNING: this method has been known by some vets and owners throughout certain communities for several decades now, but in these locations, they gradually stopped deaths from it altogether.
However, in places such as England and other areas with largely strict laws however they still currently allow their use – so there might be a legal loophole here that lets vets practice this technique on animals:
This is why you must ask your veterinarian first what he or she will be using before giving the final go-ahead (should I even do this?).
After trying everything and only getting worse, if all else fails, then sometimes head to the vet.
Although all of these procedures are beyond the scope or should be considered in addition to what I have written in this post – they actually can help some dogs who will otherwise not eat and possibly die because they refuse food!
4. Liver and Kidney Management:
Many owners are unaware of how critical it is that they keep their dogs healthy through everything they eat, and after all, this process can be life-threatening to many pets with liver or kidney damage. Even in a perfect canine body (without food allergies), the following concerns may come up:
Diagnosing overly large livers or kidneys (worse are genetics) Diarrhea Harsh diarrhea – meaning they have to run and drink a lot, even while in pain which causes them unbearable discomfort. Sever bowel obstruction Kidney damage Liver disease Discussed at length…
5. Treatment for Seizures:
Unfortunately, almost every dog will suffer seizures at least once in their lives, so what can you do if your pet has a seizure – and how soon should they visit the vet?
(there are some rare cases owners can help bring on seizures or cause them themselves ) If within 10-20 minutes of a seizure starting before any video recording is made, then often it turns out to be either depression or emphysema.
A few things that may make your dog seizure: Pain medications GAS Also any other condition that causes an overactive nervous system (too much bodily built-in fight or flight response) Seizure medications – usually referred to as anti-convulsants
Should I bring my friend Rubi with me? The answer is No, especially not if the seizures are occurring at home !!! This can be very dangerous for her because she may try to bite you during a seizure and can even bite you after she regains consciousness. If the seizures happen out at a park, for example, it is better to put her in an alert condition as soon as possible so that we can get both of them safely home, okay!!!
Did we answer all your questions on ‘Mushrooms’?
There are two more questions about Mushrooms worth answering:
Why could my dog have a mushroom-like odor – especially in the air? This can be from an allergy, so it is important to realize that if your pet has any sort of problem with breathing allergies or asthma, even moderate exercise and lots of walking outside on a hot day may cause problems.
Also, what you may need to watch out for is dogs who by themselves do not eat their whole can of food, so there is a chance that they are holding on to the can long enough for worms or maggots to infest it – and olfactory clues may be why your pet has this odor. If in doubt, get them checked out by their vet real quick!
How much coffee would cause breathing problems? That depends on how you like your morning cup of Joe!!