Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Poison Mushroom Warning

This is scary! I got the following in my e-mail this morning and thought I should pass it along. If you have mushrooms in your yard,you might want to get rid of them... I don't know if it affects only Colorado or not.

Vets Report Dozens Of Dogs Poisoned
Jaclyn Allen, 7NEWS Reporter

POSTED: 4:37 pm MDT July 13, 2009
UPDATED: 8:02 am MDT July 14, 2009

CONIFER, Colo. -- Veterinarians in the foothills are struggling to keep up with the growing number of dogs who are being poisoned by mushrooms.

Because of the history-making moisture Colorado experienced this spring, mushrooms are everywhere in the mountains, and in the last week, Veterinarian Jeff Danielson has seen a drastic increase in mushroom poisonings. Mushrooms, when ingested by dogs, can break down their central nervous systems.

Last year, the hospital saw six cases, Danielson said. In the last five or six days, they've had about three dozen

"It's a startling change," said Danielson. "They're stumbling, falling over, some have full-blown seizures. It can be pretty scary for owners."

Jeff Clark has three dachshunds whom he considers more than pets.

"The dogs are our children," said Clark.

So when Herman, the newest of Clark's dachshunds, got sick Saturday after eating mushrooms from the back yard, Clark called the vet and kept a close eye on the dog.

"About 10, 11 at night, when we all went to bed, he seemed fine," said Clark. "But when we woke up in the morning, he was dead. It broke our hearts."

His wasn't the only sick dog.

It happened to Paul Graham's Labrador, Jasper.

Within hours of showing symptoms, Graham took the dog to the vet for an IV and activated charcoal.

"I knew mushrooms were poisonous, but before this episode, I didn't put two and two together and know that dogs can eat them and get pretty sick or die from it," said Graham.

Since Clark’s dog died, he has taken on the never-ending task of picking mushrooms and closely watching his other dachshunds.

"If you see them do it, don't be like me. Take them to the vet," he said.

Mushroom experts said most mushrooms are not toxic to dogs, but unless you know mushrooms, it's best to keep your pet away from all of them. The problem is not just in the foothills.

A technician at VRCC, an emergency clinic in Englewood, said they have seen six cases in the last month.

The symptoms of mushroom poisoning include acting intoxicated, seizures, running into things, head tilts, staggering, excessive drooling and walking in circles.

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