Pets and Mushroom Poisoning

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Mushroom Poisoning and the Laboratory's Role in Monitoring Patients. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Pets and Mushroom Poisoning

The primary focus of this training module is mushroom poisoning in humans, but pets are also known to suffer from mushroom poisoning. Dogs take an interest in Amanita phalloides and Inocybe species, possibly because of their fishy odor. Both genera can be deadly in dogs. A. muscaria and A. pantherina also have a fishy odor and when consumed by dogs can cause them to go into a deep coma-like sleep. Fortunately, recovery is usually within 6 hours but can take as long as 72 hours. Cats do not seem to be disposed as dogs to eating wild mushrooms. When they do ingest mushrooms, they seem to be attracted to wild mushrooms which their owner has collected, dried, and stored in the house. A number of those wild mushrooms are very lethal to cats. If a pet owner suspects mushroom poisoning a veterinarian or Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) should be contacted (APCC telephone number: 888-426-4435—note that there is a fee for their services). The pet owner should try to get the mushroom identified paying special attention to the location where the mushroom was collected. Mushrooms can potentially incorporate pesticides or other harmful substances that may have been distributed in the area.