How to Treat Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs

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Close-up of poisons mushrooms
Close-up of poisons mushrooms (Image: AwakenedEye/iStock/Getty Images)

Lepiota, Amanita and Galarina are three of the 60 mushroom species that are toxic to dogs. If your dog enjoys scavenging outdoors and exposes himself to one of these, he may begin to show symptoms within seven minutes or not for several hours. Symptoms include lethargy, lack of appetite, salivation, diarrhea, vomiting, increased thirst, loss of coordination and cramps or abdominal pain; seizure and coma are also possible. If you notice such signs, contact your local emergency animal hospital and prepare to drive your dog there immediately.

Call the Vet Immediately

Immediate action is required once you realize your dog has consumed a toxic mushroom. First call the veterinarian or emergency animal hospital to advise them you are on the way; this will allow the clinic to prepare for you, saving valuable time. The veterinarian may or may not instruct you to induce vomiting to begin removing the toxic substance from your dog's system. Often inducing vomiting involves feeding the animal a small amount of absorbent food such as bread and then giving the dog hydrogen peroxide orally. Get the dog to a space where he can vomit freely and where you can locate mushroom pieces in the vomit. Save them in a small plastic zipper-seal bag for the veterinarian to examine. Don't induce vomiting unless your vets tell you to, and follow the vet's instructions.

Emergency Upper GI Decontamination

Once you reach the emergency animal hospital or veterinarian office, the first course of action the staff will take is to do an emergency upper GI decontamination procedure. This is similar to inducing vomiting. Your veterinarian will determine the next course of action best suited for your dog.

Activated Charcoal

Your veterinarian will take measures to have the toxins absorbed in your dog's body, likely administering activated charcoal. Depending on the severity of the mushroom poisoning in your dog, repeated doses of activated charcoal every four to six hours may be administered. The goal of this treatment is to reduce the circulation of amatoxins in your dog's guts.

Supportive Measures and Observations

The veterinarian will administer intravenous fluids to your dog to help flush toxins out of the body. Additional care, treatment and management of kidney damage, liver damage, tremors or seizures may be administered if your dog has experienced any of them due to his exposure to toxic mushrooms. If you were able to get your dog immediate treatment within four hours of digesting the toxic mushroom, the prognosis can be good, depending on the amount consumed.

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