With the recent rains we would like to remind all Scottie families of the danger of wild mushrooms. Club member Suzy Sheehan has allowed us to reprint an article she wrote twelve years ago regarding her beloved Scotties’ tragic encounter.
Suzy Sheehan’s letter in part:
In early December of 2004, my husband and I were the adoptive parents of three Scottish Terriers. We had had Cutty from the time she was eight weeks old and we were looking forward to her fifteenth birthday in January of2005. Angus, the lone male, was five years of age and had been with us since he was a puppy. Stella, all of sixteen weeks, had been with us only since early November.
Monday, December 6th was completely uneventful for us. The dogs ate their breakfast in. the morning and their dinner at 5:30 p.m. everyone had a good appetite. At about 2:00 a.m. on December 7th, we were awakened to Stella vomiting in her crate next to our bed. Her vomit was mostly clear bile mixed with a very few pieces of undigested dog food. We cleaned up both dog and crate and tried to get back to sleep. Within an hour we were awakened by Cutty vomiting. Unlike Stella’s, her vomit contained a great deal of undigested food. While we were cleaning Cutty and her bed, Stella vomited again.
At that point, I called our veterinary clinic, a 24 hour facility with a veterinarian on duty at all times. The recommendation was that we monitor things to’ see if this was just a minor problem or take further action if things deteriorated. Neither of us slept much for the remainder of the night; but we also had no more vomiting from either dog.
I first sensed a more serious problem when I tried to feed Stella her breakfast in the morning. She had no interest in food or water and sat staring into space. Cutty ate a little breakfast and drank water. By 8:00 a.m., I had Stella at the veterinary clinic.
The quick diagnosis was some sort of GI problem and the veterinarian asked to keep Stella at the clinic for a day of observation and hydration. At noon Cathy, our vet, called to say that Stella seemed fine and that we could pick her up around 5 pm. At 3 pm she called to say that Stella had taken a turn for the worse. I contacted my husband and he went home to check on both Cutty and Angus. He discovered that Cutty was experiencing diarrhea and was obviously in distress. He took her to the clinic immediately and she too was placed on IV. Numerous tests and ultra sounds of the liver were done on both dogs, the results of which showed their livers were failing.
Our veterinarian told us that all of the diagnostics suggested mushroom poisoning and that neither dog would likely make it through the night. Stella died in the early afternoon on the following day. Cutty was going down rapidly and we elected to euthanize her about twenty minutes after Stella had passed. A biopsy on Stella’s liver disclosed “with about 99 certainty” that the ingestion of all or part of a toxic mushroom had led to complete liver failure which killed her and, almost certainly, Cutty.
Based on our research we have concluded the following: There are no “harmless” mushrooms in the yard, any and all must be removed immediately and disposed of in the trash (not in a compost pile). There is no way to “non-scientifically identify whether or not a mushroom is a poison verity.
Links to additional information: