We receive a lot of enquiries about animals ingesting mushrooms whilst out on a walk or that have appeared in the garden. There are thousands of fungi species in the UK and reliable and accurate identification relies on expert knowledge. We work with field mycologists who assist us in identification of fungi from photographs and, in some cases, formal identification from samples received.
In the majority of cases where fungi are eaten, no adverse effects are expected as toxic species are rare.
The most likely toxic effects are early-onset vomiting and diarrhoea, which are generally self-limiting. The uncommon, more toxic, species; however, can cause hepatic and/or renal effects which may be fatal. Other fungal species may cause various neurological and/or gastrointestinal signs which can be very rapid in onset. Unfortunately the more serious effects from these uncommon toxic species may not occur until several days after ingestion, so without identification of the species, it is not possible to rule out toxicity based on the absence of clinical signs in the first few hours.
If you require assistance with a case following ingestion of fungi, Vets can call us on 020 73 055 055. On these occasions, because of the ‘unknown’ element with mushrooms, we always advise that owners take their pet to the vet for examination following mushroom ingestion and will always refer Animal PoisonLine enquirers to their vet in these instances who we can then work with directly to help identify the species and formulate a suitable treatment plan