Mushrooms and Dogs
Mushrooms grow everywhere. If you are a mushroom eater you would be very glad of the mushrooms that pop up in your yard, along the road or in the nearby woods. Mushrooms have earned the title “the meat in the word of vegetables”. Mushrooms are widely used in cooking especially of Japanese, Korean, European and Chinese foods. While mushroom is considered as gourmet food, this spore bearing fungus can be deadly too. Poisonous mushrooms can pop up beside edible ones thus identifying which are edible and which are poisonous can be a challenge.
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Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs
Mushroom poisoning in dogs is common given the fact that these animals love to wander in wooded areas. Aside from being voracious eaters dogs also have a scavenging nature. Poisoning is therefore common to these four legged friends. Dogs have the unexplainable enjoyment for eating grass and while the pet is “grazing” like a cow, it can also ingest poisonous mushrooms. The dog may have eaten an edible mushroom but just like some people, the pet may have an allergic reaction.
Signs of mushroom poisoning
Symptoms of poisoning vary depending on the type of mushroom ingested by the dog. Mushroom toxicity varies from being mild to fatal. The Amanita phalloides specie is considered to be most toxic to dogs. Severe forms of toxicity will destroy the liver and kidney cells of the dog. The central nervous system of the dog will also be affected. Less serious cases of mushroom poisoning would cause gastrointestinal irritation. Vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain are the common signs of mushroom toxicity. The weakened dog would be lethargic and would have uncoordinated movements. Toxins present in mushrooms will destroy the liver thus yellowing of the eyes and the mucus membranes will be noticed. Excessive drooling will be noticed as well.
Time is of the essence with mushroom poisoning. The dog has to have immediate medical attention to remove the toxin from the dog’s system. Poisoning that is not immediately managed can have the pet go into coma. This condition can lead to the death of the pet. There is no home treatment for mushroom poisoning. The dog has to be taken to the nearest animal clinic immediately. The toxin has to be prevented from being absorbed by the body. Activated charcoal is usually administered. Syrup of Ipecac or hydrogen peroxide are used to induce vomiting.
Preventing mushroom poisoning can be difficult if the dog is accustomed to wandering freely. To an uninformed person, distinguishing edible mushrooms from the poisonous ones would be very difficult. Dogs can gain healthful benefits from mushrooms as they are good sources of essential vitamins and minerals but to be on the safe side it would be much better to keep the dog away from any kind of mushrooms.
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