Dogs and Mushrooms

Some wild-growing mushrooms are poisonous, and not only humans, but dogs too have died from eating the wrong mushrooms. I had read once that it's best not to feed your dogs mushrooms, lest they get a taste for them. However, this is not a foolproof way to prevent them from eating wild mushrooms.

I don't like mushrooms and so never eat them or share them with my dogs, but my dog Sammy still gobbled down most of a wild mushroom he found growing in my yard here in Tucson yesterday.

I never thought that I'd have a mushroom problem here in the desert, but these fungi were introduced into my yard through some forest mulch and now thrive in irrigated areas. The bag that the forest mulch came in was thrown away long ago, so I don't know where the mulch and the mushrooms came from.

I didn't know if these mushrooms were poisonous or not (I don't know anything about mushrooms), so I gave Sammy some syrup of ipecac to make him throw it up, which is what my dog care book recommended.

The mushroom he ate had dark brown gills, a beige top, and a white stalk. I found another one with a white top. Here are some photos of the remains of two of the mushrooms. The large cap is 3 1/2 inches (8.9 cm) in diameter.

Unknown, half-eaten mushrooms with brown gills

Unknown, half-eaten mushrooms with brown gills

If you know what these mushrooms might be and if they are poisonous or not, please email me! Sammy seems to be okay, but more of these mushrooms keep unexpectedly pushing up from the soil all around my yard. I'm worried that he will eat another mushroom, perhaps next time without me even knowing about it.

I only have one more bottle of syrup of ipecac left and they no longer sell it, so more mushroom snacks will mean an emergency trip to the vet. If you see your dog eat an unknown and possibly poisonous wild mushroom, and you wait for the symptoms of mushroom poisoning to appear before taking it to the vet, it could be too late and fatal organ damage may have already occurred.

If you have dogs or small children, please check your yard for unknown or known poisonous wild mushrooms and remove them!