- Contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Your veterinarian may instruct you to induce vomiting, however, do not induce vomiting unless instructed to.
- If you suspect that your pet has eaten wild mushrooms, collect a sample (including the cap and stem) in a paper bag. As mushrooms can be toxic to humans it is recommended to wear gloves when collecting samples. Alternatively if food or medicinal mushrooms are ingested, bring a sample to your veterinarian.
Onset depends on the species of mushroom and amount ingested. In general, the larger the amount of toxin ingested, the sooner the onset of clinical signs. Some cause immediate irritation on ingestion, while others cause signs to develop from 45 minutes following ingestion. The onset of signs may be delayed by up to 14 days post ingestion.
The main categories of clinical signs produced by mushrooms are:
- Gastrointestinal upsets (inappetance, hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain)
- Cholinergic signs (salivation, excess tear production, urination, diarrhoea, constricted pupils and an increased heart rate)
- Neurological signs (changes in behaviour, demeanour, disorientation, incoordination and seizures)
- Kidney related signs (excessive thirst, excessive urination)
- Liver signs (yellow tinged gums and skin or jaundice)
Other signs may include:
- Drowsiness, Depression
- Lethargy and weakness
- Head pressing
- Low temperature (hypothermia)
- Low or high heart rate (bradycardia, tachycardia)
- Irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Discoloured urine
- Ear twitching (cat)
- Partial seizures
- Muscle spasms
- Non responsive pupils
- Vertical darting movement of eyes (vertical nystagmus)
- Problems with blood clotting ability
EFFECTS OF TOXICITY
Different mushroom species have very different mechanisms of toxicity and produce different signs.The main targets are the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, liver, nervous system and red blood cells.
Veterinary care may involve further decontamination (including gastric lavage and administration of activated charcoal), plus supportive care including intravenous fluids, liver protectants and anti-convulsants.
Eisold J and Mostrum M (2011) Mycotoxins and Mushrooms. In: Small Animal Toxicology Essentials. Ed. Poppenga RH & Gwaltney-Brant SM. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Spoerke D (2006) Mushrooms. In: Small Animal Toxicology. 2nd Ed. ed. Peterson ME & Talcott PA. USA: Elsevier Saunders.