14 May Mushroom Warning
Over the past two months, the Animal Poisons Helpline has received over 50 calls regarding pets eating wild mushrooms. Most of these calls have come pet owners in Victoria and New South Wales.
Whilst the ingestion of most mushroom 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. Clinical signs can be delayed several hours or even days after ingestion. In many cases there is no specific antidote and treatment is focused on minimising the absorption of the toxins and managing any complications that may arise.
The Animal Poison Helpline has recently been involved in the care of two dogs that became critically unwell after ingesting highly toxic wild mushrooms. Unfortunately, one of these much-loved pets had to be put down due to the effects caused by the toxins released from the mushrooms.
These cases highlight the importance of taking extra care whenever your pets have access to or are being walked in areas where mushrooms are growing. 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.