Big Bear, CA, September 14, 2012 – After our recent rain storms, an overgrowth of mushrooms have sprouted throughout the Big Bear Valley. According to Dr. Johnny DeLandtsheer of VCA Lakeside Animal Hospital, confirmed cases of dogs ingesting these mushrooms have lead to reports of mushroom toxicity. Signs to look for in your pet are gastrointestinal issues, known as GI, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Dr. DeLandtsheer tells KBHR that these symptoms are not a guarantee of mushroom toxicity but do fit the signs for this type of poisoning. Generally, larger animals are less prone to the health issue related to mushroom toxicity than smaller dogs. Also, if the animal vomits immediately after ingesting the mushrooms, it is less of a concern as the dog can expel the toxic material. However, if the dog develops diarrhea, it is more concerning. Mushroom toxicity is a GI irritant that can affect the liver potentially causing liver failure. Another concern is that initially, you can’t see the effects on the liver in blood work and that lag time can make it difficult to diagnosis the problem. To date, VCA has seen three confirmed cases of mushroom toxicity in dogs but has seen many more dogs with unconfirmed GI concerns. According to Bear City Animal Hospital, they believe they have not seen any cases. Luckily, there have been no reported cases of death here in Big Bear caused by mushroom toxicity; however, it is not an uncommon occurrence. Treatment is detoxification by the vet using activated charcoal and possibly IV fluids depending on the health status of the dog. If you see signs of vomiting or diarrhea in your pet, owners are advised to bring the dog to their vet of choice to determine the problem.