News

Poisonous mushrooms kill dogs

Rain contributing to growth of deadly fungi, trainer warns

All dog owners know that if a dog realizes something can fit inside its mouth, it's only a matter of seconds before the item goes down the gullet. If that item is a mushroom, the results can be tragic.

According to Menlo Park residents, five local dogs have already died this year from eating poisonous fungi.

A local dog trainer, Donnasue Jacobi, reminds owners that mushrooms have an expansive root system that dogs can dig up.

"We haven't had much rain, but if you've got lots of oak trees, the compost that's made from falling leaves is a perfect place for these things to get growing," she wrote in an email after a client's miniature pinscher died.

She recommends checking yards and other outdoor areas daily.

Check here for examples and photos of poisonous vegetation.

You can also pick up a portable photo card of the plants at Holbrook-Palmer Park in Atherton on Monday nights from March 19 through May 7 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., or at the Pet Place, 777 Santa Cruz Ave., and Bow Wow Meow, 654 Santa Cruz Ave., in Menlo Park.

Comments

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Posted by Doug
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm

A year ago, our 4 month old puppy ingested a "death cap" mushroom and died. So we know first hand how awful this can be. We didn't realize what had happened until it was too late. Our puppy had been out playing in our yard, and it wasn't until 6-8 hours later that symptoms appeared. Tragically, once symptoms appear in death cap mushroom cases, it's all over. He suffered severe liver failure, and we had to put him down.

Death cap mushrooms are one of the most poisonous mushrooms in the world and account for the most deaths. Beyond pets, children are also at risk for poisoning. The issue for residents of Menlo Park and its environs is that these mushrooms grow naturally in our area, often under oak trees. Although the lack of wet weather has stymied the growth of these mushrooms, they are still out there. In fact, you can see these mushrooms just outside the fence of the Neylon Park dog park, a few yards from the entrance. The link below will give you a good idea of what these mushrooms look like. They are quite distinctive. Web Link

Many of us have oak trees in our yards and need to be especially vigilant.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Mar 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I lost my sweet Donato, a Bernese Mt. Dog pup when he was barely 6 months old to a Death Cap Mushroom. Since then it's been my mission to give Donato a legacy and to inform people. I really don't want anyone to go thru what we did.

I started by putting up posters and now I'm talking at dog clubs and puppy classes. Recently I produced Mushroom Alert Card and started a blog. I am so impressed that after another recent death local pet sitters are asking to get the cards to pass on to their clients.

Here's the blog... www.Mushrooms911.blogspot.com There is information and links.

I'm so pleased to see this article....and also just this evening I participated in a story that Channel 5 is doing on mushroom toxicity.

Please, check your yards for mushrooms. Pick them (...and don't let your dog see you doing it), bag them and throw them out. I know there are a lot of good mushrooms and they serve the environment...but in my backyard I need to know my dog is safe.







 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dog lover
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Other common dog killers are Antifreeze leaking from your car and
Dark chocolate, Acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Protect your pets!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy Brundage, Almanac Staff
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 13, 2012 at 7:43 am

Please contact Chip Taylor, Public Works Director, if you have a specific location for mushrooms on city property: CWTaylor@menlopark.org


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Debbie
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Mar 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm

We also lost our 14 week old Retriever puppy to a death cap mushroom last August. It devastated our family. We tried 3 blood transfusions to try to save our puppy and we ended up losing him. Our puppy found this mushroom in our yard and we had no idea it was there. We had never seen this mushroom in our yard in the 13 years we have lived here. The conditions last year with a wet winter, cool spring and summer were perfect conditions for a death cap mushroom to grow. We now check our yard daily and we have had more pop up. I tell everyone now to please watch your yards and what your sweet dogs eat..I would hate to see anyone else go through the pain of losing a family member like we did..


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