Toxic Mushrooms -Story below the links is not for faint hearted

Since the death of so many dogs due to the Death Cap Mushroom, I decided that we need some more information with plenty of access to links and photos, so I went prowling around looking for some great information on Mushrooms, which has great photos a few years ago, and I found this site.

David Fisher’s American Mushrooms.………….. ( This site has super clear photos and great information.

This page DEATH CAPS MUSHROOMS is especially important and photos are easy to see to be able to identify the mushrooms.

SNIPPET: Introduction

NO MUSHROOM is worthier of fear than the terribly poisonous Death Cap (Amanita phalloides). This single, widespread species of mushroom is solely responsible for the majority of fatal and otherwise serious mushroom poisoning cases, worldwide as well as in North America. Indeed, one might argue that the Death Cap’s notorious, relatively frequent victimization of Homo sapiens is far and away the best explanation (or rationalization) for the widespread fear of edible wild mushrooms.

Another Great site with SUPER photos and names of Poisonous mushrooms

I’ll add to this post when I find more.

This (below) is very sad one, and not written by me, but by a pet owner who lost several of her babies to mushroom poisoning and in her tremendous grief, is trying to let the world know what happened to spare them from going through the same horrible, heart wrenching experience. Thank you so much Leslie Anne Davey for taking time out of your grief to alert pet owners of this danger and tragedy. With the exception of a few spelling corrections, this is exact as it is on the site………………………………..



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 follow 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  ****, 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 phones 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 seizing Hannah and Gwynne grabbed Smartie and we (I was helper only) prepped them for IV’s with a quick assessment 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 stabilized. They were crashing and crashing fast. Protocol warrants Valium for seizing 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 seizing and her heart rate is going down fast and stops. Out comes the emergency kit, she’s tubed and  Atrophine is administered 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.

Smartie 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 to 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 shock.

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 not 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 incident has been in its 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 article along with my name.

Finally, I would like to send out a HUGE THANK YOU 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 setters@shaw. ca
Leslie Anne Davey
Darkenwald Setters (1968) & K9 Clips(1988)
Ladysmith on Vancouver Island
Beautiful British Columbia, Canada setters@shaw. ca


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