COLUMBIA, SC (WIS/Gray News) – A South Carolina couple say they lost their 6-month-old dog after she ate poisonous mushrooms in their garden.
WIS reports that Mike and Cindy Casto discovered that their dog Ruffles, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, had caught fungus the previous weekend. They took her to an emergency veterinary clinic, but she died a day later.
“We never imagined something like this could happen,” Cindy Casto said.
The couple said Ruffles was playing in their garden, as she often did, but noticed she was starting to look lethargic and throw up.
When the couple brought Ruffles to the Shandon-Wood veterinary clinic, staff said the dog was unconscious.
“The liver values were so high on the machine that she couldn’t read them,” said Dr Courtney Cauthen, associate veterinarian at the Shandon-Wood Animal Clinic.
According to Cauthen, Amanita and Galerina mushrooms are the most dangerous for pets and can cause liver failure.
Since mushrooms can vary in color and size, she said it’s best to assume that all fungi growing in yards could be harmful to pets.
“Try to scan your yard as best you can before you let them out, pick up as many as you can and throw them away,” Cauthen said.
The couple said it has been an emotional few days since losing Ruffles. They had been pet parents for years and decided to adopt Ruffles after seeing a photo of her on Instagram.
“She really was a very rambunctious, sweet little thing,” Cindy Casto said.
They said they loved every second of their short stint with Ruffles.
“That unconditional love for a pet is extraordinary,” Mike Casto said.
Sharing their story, the Castos said they hope others don’t have to go through the same pain.
“We have warned our neighbors and they have dogs. We just want them to go out and check their yard and see if they see any fungus, get rid of it or keep their pet indoors,” Mike Casto said.
Cauthen said if you see your dog eating a mushroom, you should rush him to a clinic so he can induce vomiting and try to clear the mushrooms from his system.
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