Death Cap Mushrooms and your Dog

Amanita Phalloides, more commonly known as the Death Cap mushroom, is the number one cause of fatal mushroom poisonings in the world. These mushrooms mostly grow around oak trees but have been documented growing in pines; they thrive in cool, damp climates, often popping up during the fall and winter rainy seasons.

When Death Cap mushrooms decay, they emit a fishy odor that can be very appealing for your dog to roll around in or to eat.

What Do Death Cap Mushrooms Look Like?
  • The caps can be a green/yellow color but also brown, tan, green, and they can take on a metallic sheen as they age
  • The cap may appear to be “balding”
  • They have white gills
  • The cap can be 2 to 6 inched in diameter
  • The cap is round initially, but flattens as it ages
How are Death Caps Poisonous To Dogs?

Death Cap mushrooms contain amatoxins, which interfere with DNA and RNA transcription and selectively influence the rapidly replicating cells of the gastrointestinal (GI) and renal systems. In other words, amatoxins are very harmful to a dogs intestines and can cause liver failure and death.

Indications of Death Cap Poisoning

Signs of poisoning grow between six and 20 hours after ingestion.

  • Gastrointestinal upset (signs of abdominal pain, bloody nausea, or severe bouts of nausea )
  • Jaundice (the whites of the eyes and mucous membranes turn yellow)
  • Seizure (due to liver damage)
  • Lethargy

Unfortunately, once the symptoms appear, it may be too late to your dog. That is why prevention and early detection are crucial in protecting your pet from mushroom poisoning.

Protecting Your Dog From Poisonous Mushrooms

The best way to keep your pet protected from Death Cap mushrooms would be to watch them closely while hiking and be sure they don’t consume anything suspicious. For some dogs that is much easier said than done, so be proactive and eliminate mushrooms out of the dog’s path.

  • Remove mushrooms from the lawn after they pop up
  • On walks and hikes, pick up and bag suspicious mushrooms and eliminate them in a garbage can
  • On hikes, maintain your puppy on-leash, and do not let her move off the road. This is just good etiquette, as well as being a security measure.
  • Should you hike with your dog off-leash, be sure she’s solid remember and”leave it” orders .
  • Exercise training at home and on the road, always with positive reinforcement and rewards.
    Consistently take a pet first aid kit on hikes and outdoor trips
What to do if You Think Your Dog Ate a Mushroom

If you see your pup consume a suspicious mushroom, then instantly give them a dose of hydrogen peroxide to induce nausea, 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body fat. This will expel the mushroom before it has an opportunity to put in your dog’s system.

Next, go to the vet right away. Even if your dog shows no actual symptoms of mushroom poisoning, even if you suspect that they ate a mushroom, it is crucial to seek treatment straight away. If you can, have a sample of the mushroom with you for testing.

Nobody wants to consider their dog being poisoned, but by understanding what poisonous mushrooms look like, you can protect your pet. The great news is, the huge bulk mushrooms are non-toxic.

To keep your dog protected from the 1 percent of mushrooms which are poisonous, do not let her eat mushrooms on the road, and learn the symptoms of poisoning. With knowledge and a small amount of warning, you can enjoy hiking the shore with your dog for a long time to come.