Keeping your pets away from summer mushrooms

Posted at 9:28 PM, Aug 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-21 00:49:29-04

Heat, humidity and rain: the perfect combination for unwanted lawn guests in the summer.

During this time of the year, it's important to keep an eye out for mushrooms that may pop-up in your yard overnight.

Christy Huntington lost her 8-year-old Schnauzer, Fritz, back in April. While he was out playing in the backyard, he got into a patch of mushrooms that were growing in a small, shaded area beside the fence. 

"We didn't realize that Fritz had eaten them until it was too late. Until we went out there and saw what he had eaten," said Huntington.

According to, mushrooms belonging to the Amanita family can be some of the most dangerous and the most common. They have a fishy odor and taste, which makes them very attractive to dogs.

Dr. LuAnn Ervin owns the Texas Animal Medical Center in Waco. She said your pet's life is on the line from the moment they take a bite of a mushroom.

"There's a lot of symptoms that go along with mushroom toxicity and most of them are concerning the intestinal tract," said Dr. Ervin. "You have to start treatment pretty quickly. They usually dehydrate quite rapidly because of the vomiting and diarrhea that goes on."

For Huntington, her family ran out of time.

"The vet said that his liver enzymes were so high it was unreadable on their machine," said Huntington. 

She wishes she could go back and think twice about the mushrooms she saw that day.

"The first night he wasn't there was hard. There's an empty part of you that's just gone and you never get it back," said Huntington. 

Her family now patrols their yard constantly, ripping up any mushrooms they may find, to protect the little ones who take up a big space in their hearts.

Dr. Ervin said symptoms of a sick dog include vomiting, salivating, loss of energy, diarrhea and seizures.

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