Monday, October 17, 2011

Fungus Among Us

The recent rains have brought up a bumper crop of mushrooms around the Cape and South Shore. We see them everywhere, from woodland trails to manicured lawns to open pastures, popping up  in every shape from tiny parasols to golf balls, soft balls, fluted goblets and one that resembled a bowler hat or perhaps a space ship.

Albeit charming in appearance, we've all been warned many times not to eat wild mushrooms. Delectable sautéed with butter and herbs or stirred into sour cream for stroganoff or soup, yes, but unless you are a mushroom expert and 100% sure of what you've collected, wild mushrooms shouldn't be on your menu, nor your pet's.

This spring one of our customers on the South Shore told us about nearly losing her beloved Golden Retriever because the dog had eaten some harmless looking mushrooms growing in her suburban yard. Luckily she was able to rush the dog to an emergency vet who was able to save the dog, but had she not been home or noticed her pet's distress the result would have been tragic. 

The ASPCA reports that 99% of mushrooms are harmless but the 1% that are toxic are extremely dangerous. They recommend that you should immediately call your veterinarian and/or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888 426 4435 if you see your pet eating a wild mushroom. If you have a yard, keep an eye on any mushrooms that appear and remove and discard them safely as soon as possible.

We recommend that you take advantage of this beautiful fall weather by taking as many long walks with your dog as possible, but keep an eye on your pooch when walking in the woods.

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