Wild mushrooms can look like a yummy mid-walk snack for your curious dog. But unfortunately, while some species of mushrooms are harmless, others can cause serious symptoms or even be fatal for your furry friend.
Unless you are a fungi expert, it can be challenging to differentiate between the mushroom species that are safe. Plus, as most mushrooms don't cause reactions for two or more hours, you won't be able to immediately tell if your pooch has eaten something they shouldn't.
Also called fly agaric, Amanita muscaria is a dangerous mushroom present throughout North America. This mushroom features a red cap covered in white specks and is often depicted in holiday-themed decorations, especially during the winter months when they are prevalent. Often found in woodland areas, including in some state and national parks, this mushroom is most likely to cause a pet to become delusional thanks to its neurological effects.
Specifically worrisome to dogs, Amanita phalloides, ominously referred to as death cap mushrooms, often seem like a harmless, beige-colored growth tucked into a wooded area or grassy patch. This mushroom contains hepatotoxic cyclopeptides, including virotoxins, phallotoxins, and the most dangerous, amatoxins, all of which can cause liver failure in dogs.
Often found in woodland areas, keep watch if your dog comes across a darker-colored mushroom called Galerina marginata, sometimes referred to as autumn skullcap. These mushrooms are usually under 2.5 inches high and are sticky with a darker brown to yellow coloring. It's one of the most poisonous mushrooms on the East Coast and can be fatal when consumed.
With their smooth, white cap, Chlorophyllum molybdites often look similar to the mushroom you could find in your grocery store, but they're quite poisonous. If ingested, they can cause stomach cramping, vomiting, and weakness within 30 minutes of consumption.
Panaeolus cinctulus, often called magic mushrooms, are known to create neurological disorders and hallucinations in both people and animals. Simple, small, brown-colored mushrooms are foraged by many cultures for their psychedelic effects, but they're not safe for dogs (or their owners) to consume. If your furry friend ingests one, they're likely to cause gastro illness, alongside aggressiveness and an increased risk of cognitive function decline, meaning your dog should steer clear.
With a white to brown colored cap usually under 15 centimeters in size, Amanita pantherine is easily hidden low to the ground. This mushroom can have varying color patterns but is often found under pine trees. It's toxic to dogs because it contains muscimol and ibotenic acid, which will lead to stomach problems and, depending on the amount consumed, could be deadly.
More commonly known as false morels because they look similar to morels, Gyromitra esculenta is often found in the spring months in humid or moist areas with ample shade. As a hemolytic toxin-filled mushroom, dogs who munch on this one could face intense pain and central nervous system failure. It can also cause gastrointestinal damage, with symptoms beginning 6 to 12 hours after ingestion.
Often found near decaying wood, Entoloma abortivum is a mushroom that causes gastrointestinal distress, including stomach cramping and vomiting in dogs. A more angular mushroom with a steely gray coloring, it's relatively common in hardwood forests throughout North America.
Noted for its red to dark brown coloring, Gyromitra caroliniana is a false morel as well. Often found in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, this beautiful but dangerous mushroom has a bright white stem with a tightly wrinkled cap. Quite large in overall size, with a cap as large as 12 centimeters in diameter, it is often found in sandy soils. Symptoms of toxicity often occur within six hours and include vomiting, seizures, and coma.
Although several subspecies of Inocybe exist, they're typically small and brown, with some having a purple hue and a red center. They're commonly found sticking up out of the soil, and fallen leaves and are easily discovered by dogs as they run around following a scent trail in the woods. These mushrooms can cause digestion issues, with symptoms occurring within hours of consumption, and like all mushrooms mentioned, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as you suspect they have eaten one.
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