Poisonous Mushrooms and Toxicity In Dogs

By Valdette Muller| August 31, 2017 | Blog


It can be fascinating and even magical when mushrooms pop up in your back yard overnight.

If your dog is curious and scavenging in nature, it would be wise to clear any mushrooms from your yard as soon as you see them.

Unfortunately there has been a growing trend of dogs in South Africa each year falling victim to the ingestion of poisonous mushrooms.

These toxic mushrooms are just as hazardous to our dogs’ health as they are to our own.

Dogs do not always understand that wild mushrooms may not be safe to eat!

Many dogs can fall fatally ill once they have eaten poisonous mushrooms.

Determining the edible from the poisonous.

You might think that mushrooms are a vegetable as they are found alongside other vegetables in the fresh produce section of a store. The truth is mushrooms are fungi and not a vegetable at all. The mushroom itself is actually part of the body of a much larger organism.

When out on walks, your dog may come across some mushrooms or other fungi growing, particularly around wooded areas or marshy grasslands.

Remember: Many wild mushrooms can be incredibly small and can be hard to spot if growing in the grass. Most of the time your dog will eat grass and may accidentally eat some of these smaller wild mushrooms. Remember to keep an eye out in your garden and remove mushrooms as soon as you find them just to be safe.

The important thing to understand is that mushrooms will either be edible, inedible or poisonous. Many mushroom species have deceptive lookalikes that range from mildly toxic to deadly poisonous. This website ‘The Mushroom Guru’ has excellent information on how to identify harmful and harmless mushrooms, but for some who are not educated in the study of mushrooms, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the toxic and non-toxic varieties.

It is also important that if you know or suspect that your pet has ingested a mushroom, seek professional veterinary help immediately and if possible, collect any uneaten mushrooms and/or vomit samples to take with you to the vet or the emergency animal hospital.


Symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs.

Depending on the type of mushrooms and the size of your dog, it may not even take much to send you and your pooch rushing to the vet.

Be on the lookout for:

  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Sickness and nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Jaundice or yellowing of the eyes and skin in serious cases
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness
  • Excessive salivation and drooling
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Clumsy, uncoordinated movements or trouble walking

Watch out for these deadly shrooms

Copper Trumpet: Very poisonous, has a very appealing smell. Copper trumpet

Also known as the Jack-o-lantern mushroom.

False Parasol: Very poisonous, bruises pink and red,


the mushroom’s gills are white when its young and turn green as it ages. The mushroom grows 5 to 25 cm tall.

Death Cap: The most poisonous and the most dangerous of all the mushrooms in South Africa.deathcap 1

Also known as Amanita phalloides. The toxins from this mushroom attack your liver and kidneys.

The cap is pale yellow to light olive in colour. It has a “fishy” odour and taste which often attracts dogs.

Panther Cap: Poisonous and very commonly found in South Africa.Panther Cap

Can be identified by their densely distributed white “warts” on the cap.

Sulfur Tuft: Very Poisonous, also known as the Clustered woodlover.Sulphur tuft

The mushroom’s cap is yellow with a orange-brown centre.

Regardless of what the mushrooms may look like we recommend removing all mushrooms from your yard to be as preventative as possible.

Sources: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/06/20/mushroom-poisoning.aspx





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