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The Dangers of Wild Mushrooms

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Wild mushrooms are a common sight all over Connecticut, especially in the rainy seasons like the spring and fall. While these fungi may seem unassuming, if your cat or dog decides to chew or eat some the consequences can be deadly. There are thousands of species of wild mushrooms, all with a variety of different levels of danger – some species are harmless, while others can cause everything from mild to severe illness, or even death.

Common affects of mushroom toxicity include:

  • GI upset (ex: vomiting, heavy drooling, nausea, or diarrhea)
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Neurological signs (ex: weakness, seizures, shaking/trembling, or loss of balance)

After eating a mushroom, symptoms can start to appear within minutes to hours. Because there is such a wide range of toxicity and serious signs may not show up immediately, any wild mushroom ingestion should be treated as a medical emergency.

If your pet has eaten wild mushrooms, call your veterinarian or poison control immediately. If possible, bring in some of the mushrooms with you when you go to the vet to help identify what was eaten. Treatment for mushroom ingestion will vary depending on what specific symptoms your pet is showing. Because symptoms can progress very quickly, getting your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible is crucial.

Mushrooms can grow in almost any environment but they especially like wet and warm weather – in rainy periods like the spring and fall, it’s not uncommon for them to pop up literally overnight. Please make sure to remove any mushrooms you find around your property as soon as possible to prevent any accidental snacking! 

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