With all the rain arriving in Central Oregon, mushrooms are starting to pop up. If you own a dog, you’ll need to know which fungi isn’t fun for your pet.
“For dog owners, you need to just know they’re out there and they’re out there in great numbers this year because of our weather,” said Julie Hamilton the president of the Central Oregon Mushroom Club.
Amanita Pantherina — a.k.a. the Panther Cap — and Amanita Aprica –a.k.a. the Sunshine mushroom — are two species of poisonous fungus sprouting around the High Desert.
“And both of them can be deadly to dogs,” Hamilton said.
“Essentially. there’s about four different ways mushrooms can be toxic to dogs,” said Dr. Byron Maas, a veterinarian at the Bend Veterinary Clinic.
Those ways are through the stomach, liver, kidneys, and brain.
Panther Cap and the Sunshine mushroom can cause multiple problems.
“Vomiting, weakness, uncoordinated movements, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive drooling,” said Hamilton, reading the list of symptoms a dog may have after eating one of these mushrooms.
But there is a bright spot.
“So they’re very identifiable,” Hamilton said.
Look for either a yellow or orange cap with white dots or a chocolate cap with white dots.
There are also flyers around parks with images of the dangerous mushrooms dogs will find by smell.
“Some mushrooms actually attract flies because of the stench that they have from the compounds that they release which is attractive to dogs,” said Dr. Maas “It smells like sort of a dead animal and dogs love dead, decaying flesh.”
If your pup takes a bite, save the mushroom in case they show symptoms.
“Because that’s the best way to identify if that might be a toxic mushroom or one that’s nothing to worry about,” said Dr. Maas.
Take your dog to the vet immediately if symptoms arise and avoid any fungus you can’t identify.
The posters about the mushrooms at dog parks include the Animal Emergency Center number (541-385-9110) as well as the Mushroom Club website for further information.
“For some reason, they’re more prevalent here in Central Oregon than they are in the valley and Portland area,” Hamilton said “They don’t have this problem over there so it’s kind of one of our things.”
Mushrooms tend to live in damp, dark places like backyards.
So if you see one, grab some gloves, pick it up and remove it so your furry friend doesn’t get a bite.