Not everything in the garden is good...
Beware... autumn is toadstool season! Mushrooms may be tasty on pizzas and in omelettes but they can be lethal to dogs. Bernadette Bay was heartbroken when her little sheltie Hex died after eating what was believed to be a deadly mushroom. Initially it caused kidney failure, then systemic inflammatory response syndrome and finally death.
It is an exceptionally good autumn for toadstools - probably due to the wet summer - but not for all dogs. Six cases of dog poisoning by toadstools have already been reported to the fungal identification experts working at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew so far this autumn.
Some toadstools are edible, but some have toxins. There are different toxins, and symptoms of mushroom poisoning may vary from a short term gastric upset, to life-threatening organ failure resulting in death. Serious symptoms do not always occur immediately after eating; often not until the toxin attacks the kidney or liver, sometimes days or weeks later. One example of dogs being poisoned is with the toxin muscarine, which causes vomiting, diarrhoea, salivation, perspiration, and tears. In high doses it can cause a lowered heart rate and respiratory failure. Symptoms can be treated with atropine.
Please watch out in case your dog eats anything that is poisonous. If you suspect that your dog has eaten poisonous toadstools take him/her to your vet immediately. If you can find samples of what your dog has eaten, wrap them in tissue or newspaper. Toadstools can be identified dry, but will quickly rot beyond recognition if put into plastic bags.
Your vet should contact Guy's & St. Tomas' Hospital Trust. Your contact for more information on poisonous fungi there would be Dr. Nick Edwards at the Poison's Unit: Tel. 020 777 5300
on acute poisonings / overdose
Patients and their relatives with enquiries concerning poisoning / overdose should contact NHS Direct on 08454647.
Laura reckons they ate approximately one large handful between the two of them. The symptoms they have had are extreme vomiting, dehydration, ataxia and general pain. Both are on fluids in vets and could take at least 4 days to recover. Who would have thought this amount of damage could be caused by pot pouri! Please pass on.