Summer means long walks with your dog. And that means lots of sniffing and even eating all sorts of “discoveries” on the ground. Unfortunately for our four-legged friends in Maine, veterinarians are now warning dog parents there about the threat of poisoning from wild mushrooms.
Vets caution dog parents about mushroom poisoning
While some dogs will ignore mushrooms in the wild, others – especially young dogs – may be intrigued by them.
“We see a lot of younger dogs eat mushrooms, they’re kind of curious a little more than a normal pet… they tend to put everything in their mouth,” Dr. Kate Domenico, president of the Maine Veterinary Medical Association, told News Center Maine.
The wet weather in the state means more fungi along hiking trails. The Amanita mushroom is the most poisonous type of mushroom in Maine.
“That one is one you definitely do not want. You want to avoid it,” Louis Giller of North Spore told News Center Maine.
What to do if your dog eats a mushroom
Because it’s challenging for people to identify mushrooms properly, you might feel confused about what to do if your dog eats one. Giller recommends photographing the type of mushroom your dog ate if possible.
“I wouldn’t take chances with my dog,” Giller said. “See if you can narrow down what it was they ate, and you can find one with high confidence a similar mushroom.”
If your pup does wolf down some fungi, Dr. Domenico’s advice is to monitor your dog. If anything seems off, seek veterinary care immediately. In the case you cannot get to a veterinarian right away, you can try to induce vomiting in your dog. But your pup still needs to be seen by a professional sooner rather than later.
“These are not benign things for your pet to ingest,” Dr. Domenico said. Eating fungi “can cause a lot of problems” for dogs, she added. Therefore, it’s your responsibility as a dog parent to be vigilant and limit access to fungi as much as possible on walks.