Veterinarians warn dog owners about toxic ‘death cap’ mushrooms
A warning for pet owners – a toxic mushroom known to veterinarians as “death caps” is putting dogs in the ICU across the state.
Charley, a 1-year-old golden retriever from Red Bank, spent 11 days in the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital after ingesting the extremely toxic mushroom, amanita phalloides, also known as death cap. The mushroom is often pale and yellowish with a large cap. It also has a faint honey-sweet smell.
The mushrooms seemingly pop up overnight, especially after heavy rain and cause acute liver failure.
Health officials say the scariest part for pet owners is that symptoms can be delayed up to 24 hours after ingestion, giving owners a false sense of security.
“A major concern too is that they don’t normally show clinical signs," Dr. Kelsea Studer, of Red Bank. Veterinary Hospitals explained. "Or they can have a false recovery meaning they'll start vomiting then they get better so you think they’re fine and then they can go into liver failure.”
Some signs to look out for: About six to 12 hours after ingestion, dogs will begin to experience gastro distress. It then quickly progresses to liver failure. Death can occur within one or two days in severe cases.
Another dog fighting for her life after eating these mushrooms is Molly, a black Lab from Hunterdon County. She is currently being treated by Crown Veterinary Specialists. Molly’s owners have set up a GoFundMe for help with her care.