15 Apr Mushroom Warning
The Animal Poisons Helpline is noticing an increase in the number of calls regarding pets eating wild mushrooms. This comes as no surprise given the seasonal growth characteristics of fungi and the recent rains throughout much of Australia.
Wild mushroom ingestion can result in a range of clinical signs depending on the species and toxin involved. Whilst many species will result in either no clinical signs or a transient gastroenteritis like syndrome, some mushrooms such as Amanita phalloides (commonly known as the Death cap) can result in life-threatening effects after the ingestion of even small quantities.
The mushroom in the attached image is Amanita muscaria (more commonly known as the fly agaric), which contains neurotoxic compounds known as isoxazoles. This mushroom grows avidly in parts of New South Wales, Victoria, south-west Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and both the north and south islands of New Zealand. Both dogs and cats seem to be attracted to this mushroom, possibly because of its fishy odour.
During this time of the year, wild mushroom ingestions are one of the most common reasons for calls to the Animal Poisons Helpline. As we are once again heading into the mushroom season, please be cautious by keeping your pets on a leash whilst walking them. Where possible, remove any mushrooms from your yard before your pet has a chance to eat them.