Mushrooms love rain and damp, which is why we see them in abundance in the fall. They can be edible and harmless, or they can be completely toxic. Dogs being natural foragers can often fall prey to mushroom toxicity, which can be fatal.
It's quite difficult to tell which mushrooms are toxic and which are safe, even for the experts, so your best rule of thumb is to get rid of them all as soon as they spring up. Be diligent about checking your yard, especially dark and damp areas where mushrooms may fester.
While slightly toxic mushrooms can present gastrointestinal issues, extremely toxic mushrooms can cause liver failure, heart problems, neurological problems and even death.
Signs to watch for indicating mushroom toxicity in your dog:
Even light drooling that seems out of place could indicate an upset stomach. If you know your dog has gotten into mushrooms, don't wait! Drooling could be a sign of worse things to come. Early intervention can mean the difference between life and death.
This could happen quickly following ingestion or after a period of delay. Waiting until a dog has collapsed to seek medical attention can often prove too late.
Low heart rate
If you see your dog moving slowly or if they seem to be more tired than is typical, it may be cause for alarm. Checking their pulse rate by feeling under their armpit or inside of their thigh will potentially give you good information. Knowing ahead of time what your dog's resting heart rate is will be an important factor.
If your dog seems to be labouring to breath, this can be a sign that something is wrong. If you know your dog has ingested mushrooms, don't delay a trip to the vet.
A seizure is a sure sign that something is wrong. Don't waste any time as a prolonged seizure can cause other issues with your dog's system.
If you see any of these signs, get your dog to a vet immediately. Some of the toxins can be absorbed with charcoal, but often, once the dog is in crisis, it may be too late to help.
If you have witnessed your dog eating mushrooms, you're best to check in with your veterinarian right away for closer examination, even if they aren't showing signs of distress.
Be aware of mushrooms in common areas such as parks or trails. Always keep a watchful eye and steer dogs clear of any mushrooms, whether they look suspicious or not.