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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has been making its way thru the email lists and I figured I'd post it here. Some folks have questioned the time between the ingestion of the first wild mushroom and the first symptom the puppy owner saw. IMHO better safe than sorry when it comes to wild mushrooms.


<span style="color: #3333FF"> I'm not sure how I should start this off, but suffice to say that I hope
that everyone learns from it, and that it NEVER happens to them.

On Thursday this week, I came home as usual, put the 3 puppies I have
here (Trace/Hannah/Smartie) into their puppy pen so I could let the big
dogs out to do their thing. As usual, after the big dogs were done, they
all came into the house and I let the puppies out into the big yard to
play and explore with me as I go around picking up poopies and sticks
and stones before the lawn got cut. At 5:30pm as usual, I tell the
puppies that it's supper time, and in I go to make up their dinner and
they all fo llow me to the gate. I quickly answered (an OK typed) email
to a prospective puppy client while the dinner is warming up, look out
to the side yard, rap on the window and tell them to leave it (I thought
it was white plastic) and come for dinner. This was a space in time of
under 10 minutes. I go out to the gate, and as usual, Trace is sitting
at the top of the stairs waiting for me and Smartie comes along
staggering and whimpering and can't get up the stairs. I'm thinking
sh*t, what is going on here, grab the 'phone, call my veterinarian,
screaming at the gals that it was me and I was coming in, that I have a
puppy crashing and putting Smartie into one kennel and Trace (who's fine
by the way) into the other. I'm running around looking and calling for
Hannah and I can't find her and not thinking that she was in trouble, I
kept thinking she's escaped (although there is no open holes or anywhere
to escape from). My clinic fones to tell me that the 'phones are being
put onto pager, and I'm just screaming that I can't find the bitch and
ask (I think it should be I told her ) to get Gywnne, my vet tech friend
to wait by her cell and I'll 'phone when I hit the road. It took me what
seem like hours, but only minutes to find Hannah, under the porch in a
very dark place behind the lattice work and I just ripped the lattice
work off, pulled her out and put her on the bed inside my truck, and hit
the road. What usually takes me 40-45 minutes to drive, took me 16
minutes with my flashers on, high beams blinking at those stupid people
that insist on driving in the passing lane, and horn blaring.

I hit the back door of the clinic with a seizuring Hannah and Gwynne
grabbed Smartie and we (I was helper only) prepped them for IV's with a
quick assessement by my beloved veterinarian Al. This clinic is
emergency trained and there was 3 techs, 1 runner, Al, and myself
scrambling to get these puppies stablized. They were crashing and
crashing fast. Protocol warrants Valium for seizuring dogs, so after a
quick weigh on them, Valium was given to Hannah through the IV and
whatever the prescribed amount was for her weight, a lesser amount of
0.5mgs (?) was given, and as they are working on Smartie, I'm with
Hannah & Cathy (vet tech), and IMMEDIATELY she stops seizuring and her
heartrate is going down fast and stops. Out comes the emerg kit, she's
tubed and atrophine is administerd to bring her back and after a few
minutes she comes back and appears to stabilize again. It is a given
that her stomach needs pumping however at that moment in time it was
impossible as they were trying to keep her alive. Sm artie at that
moment, is still with us and then I bring Trace in for assessment and he
is fine (thank god for his food hound attributes, cause food is his life
and thanks to his sire is probably why he is still alive)........and then

......Smartie crashes........

When it finally appeared that things were settling down (a matter of
minutes, not hours), Al wanted us (Gwynne & me) to go home, look for the
cause and of course, Gwynne was to monitor the other dogs vitals, just
in case. We looked around in the area where I had seen them playing for
that brief moment and found mushrooms....Gwynne called Al.......

The pieces we found explained the small piece (the size of an eraser on
the top of your pencil) that was pumped from Hannah's stomach. At that
time, they were being monitored and appeared stable and much the same as
when we left them. Within the hour (although my sense of timing by this
time was gone), Al 'phoned and told me what was going on and that all
his training, all his experience, all his energy, could not save these
puppies and that the best thing would be to let them go. The decision
was made t o let them go as they were in a coma and being kept alive by
machine and human hands. There was nothing else that could be
done......they were just 4 months old........and so I let them go.

So, from my tragedy, I hope you learn about these mushrooms. Of course,
we can't have our dogs living in glass houses and not be allowed to be
just......dogs......I have almost 6 acres of property and 1-1/2 is
fenced for the dogs and the dogs DO NOT access the rest of the property.
I clean up poop daily and pick up anything that looks or could look to
be offensive to the dogs. What else can I do? I have never, in the 24
years of living on this property with puppies and/or adults, lost dogs
to this. Of course, when poop scooping, like all of us, we get rid of
mushrooms as we find them, as a precaution, but to have this happen is a

These particular mushrooms are not prevalent in this area. There is one
school of thought that they appeared on Vancouver Island in
'98....others say there are not on the Island. There is at least 2
species from what I learned in my research and it is not certain if
these are the mushrooms I have found or not. When Gwynne and I were
searching for the cause we found more and they were taken to the clinic
for evaluation. I found 6 or 7 on the Friday, none on Saturday, and one
today (Sunday). They are no t dangerous in their button stage as
juveniles as they haven't developed the spores to reproduce, but they
will kill if ingested! Mushroom fanatics have died simply by touching
them, cross contaminating them to their edible mushrooms and cooking those.

When in the juvenile stage, they are pretty much white and level with
the ground and they hide under vegetation which makes it difficult to
find them. I have had to rake the area north to south and south to
north, then east to west and west to east morning and late afternoon to
try and find them. I have not found many more. They were in one general
area where lots of sunlight hits the ground but with some low growing
vegetation that keeps the ground moist. Every one I have found, save
one, since the inc ident has been in it's juvenile stage so they won't
be reproducing. Given time, they will be gone, but they could crop up
again from the adults that had spores that I did find or that the
puppies had eaten. When the Summer hits, they will go dormant and
sometimes not always, reappear in the Fall.

I have been in contact with a mushroom expert and I am awaiting his
instructions. The pictures I have sent to him appear to be of one
species and their odour is nauseating. The link I am providing
<> is one of many. You
may cross post to any dog lists or friends that you think may benefit
from this or if any of you are involved in a dog magazine, you have
permission to use this artic le along with my name.

Finally, I would like to send out a HUGE THANKYOU to my clinic, Prevost
Veterinary Clinic in Duncan, B.C. Canada, specifically Dr. Allan
Longair, Cathy, Gwynne, & Erin (all 3 are Veterinary Techs) and Karen
who was a big help in trying to keep me calm. They went above and beyond
to save Hannah and Smartie.

May the shamrocks fall softly you two......Darkenwald's Lit'l Miss
Sunshine (Hannah) and Darkenwald's Smartie Jones (Smartie); January 4th,
2008 to May 8th, 2008, exactly 4 months and almost to the hour when they
came into this world, they left it. Someone said 'God musta wanted
Hannah & Smartie back. When I figure out the reason why, I'll let you
all know......

Leslie Anne Davey
Darkenwald Setters (1968) & K9 Clips(1988)
Ladysmith on Vancouver Island
Beautiful British Columbia, Canada [email protected]
Leslie Anne Davey
Darkenwald Setters (1968) & K9 Clips(1988)
Ladysmith on Vancouver Island
Beautiful British Columbia, Canada [email protected]
<> </span>

7,925 Posts
WOW - that is scarey! We don't have any mushrooms right now but we get a ton mid-summer. We're having the back regraded, seeded and a drainage system put in so I'm hoping that will aleviate a lot of the mushroom problem. Thanks for sharing.

3,111 Posts
I have already had an episode with a mushroom and my puppy. The puppy was taken to the vet as soon as I realized she ate one. I suggest that members scour their yards for mushrooms in their grass because the juice of the plant when crushed is just as dangerous.
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