Depending on the type of mushroom ingested, mushroom poisoning can be deadly due to the damaging effects on your dog's vital organs. Dogs can ingest mushrooms when walking in woodland or areas with long grass, so it's important to be aware of the signs of poisoning, as prompt treatment can save their life. Here's an overview of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment approach for mushroom poisoning in dogs:
Symptoms of mushroom poisoning can vary depending on the type of mushroom your dog eats, but there are some common symptoms that are displayed regardless of the type. Symptoms come on quickly and your dog may experience vomiting, diarrhoea, sudden lethargy and excessive drooling. Their abdomen may be distended and painful to the touch, and they may experience loss of coordination. When a large amount of poison has been ingested, your dog may have seizures or fall into a coma.
Diagnosis And Treatment Approach
Your vet will diagnose mushroom poisoning by taking details of your dog's symptoms and conducting a physical exam. If you know what type of mushroom your dog has ingested, try to take a sample with you to help your vet reach a diagnosis quickly. They will also take blood and urine samples to check organ function, white cell count and signs of toxicity, such as protein in the urine or low blood glucose levels.
Treatment for mushroom poisoning can include intravenous fluids to promote the elimination of toxins through your dog's urine and oral activated charcoal, which binds to toxins in your dog's digestive tract and carries them out of the body when your dog opens their bowels. Your vet may carry out a procedure known as gastric lavage if your dog is in distress or their vital signs indicate their organs are struggling to function well. This involves your dog having a thin, flexible tube inserted into their abdomen, and your vet will flush fluids through the tube to wash out your dog's stomach and suction the fluid and toxins back out of their stomach to prevent any further absorption in the digestive system. Your dog will receive inpatient care for a few days to allow the vet to monitor their organ function and observe their recovery.
Mushroom poisoning is an emergency and requires immediate veterinary care, and prompt treatment can save your dog's life. If you think your dog has ingested mushrooms, have them examined by your vet right away to prevent unnecessary suffering.
If you have additional questions, reach out to a local emergency vet clinic.