Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

The onset of springer spaniel Luna’s sudden illness was mystifying for her Fairfield family.

Luna, a four-month-old springer spaniel, died a few days after ingesting poisonous mushrooms in her family’s Fairfield yard. Now owner Peter Ronald (pictured) hopes other pet owners will learn from his family’s loss. (Twitter/Peter Ronald)

Their yard was fenced in and they had been careful watching what the four-month-old puppy ate and where she played, always keeping her on a leash when she wasn’t in the backyard. But the vet said Luna’s symptoms indicated poisoning.

“She became ill and we didn’t know how,” said owner Peter Ronald. “We had no awareness that she had eaten the mushrooms….but at that point it was too late.”

Less than two days after she was brought in to the vet, Luna died.

“Devastating doesn’t begin to cover it,” said Ronald, adding that soon after the puppy died, he found death cap mushrooms in the family’s yard and quickly put two and two together.

“They’re not called death caps for no reason,” he said.

RELATED: Victoria puppy dies after consuming poisonous mushrooms

Death caps (or Amanita phalloides) are extremely toxic mushrooms that cause severe illness or death if consumed by humans or pets – up to 30 per cent of people who eat a death cap mushroom will die. In 2016, a three-year-old boy died after ingesting the poisonous mushroom in downtown Victoria. In September, a chocolate lab puppy died after consuming unidentified mushrooms.

The mushrooms are frequently spotted across the Greater Victoria region – this year Island Health issued an alert warning locals of the fruiting mushrooms, which are described as pale and yellowish in colour, with a large cap and skirting. The mushroom has a faint honey-sweet smell and can be easily confused with edible mushrooms like puffballs and paddy-straw mushrooms.

The BC Centre for Disease Control has linked higher amounts of rainfall to increases in the number of calls it received about people who became ill after eating mushrooms, many of which were found on lawns, in parks, along roadsides or in forests.

With Victoria experiencing a wetter fall than usual, more wild mushrooms are likely to grow, and among them, possibilities of toxicity.

A poster put out by provincial partners explains how to identify a death cap mushroom (File courtesy of Island Health).

RELATED: Victoria toddler dies after ingesting poisonous mushroom

The Pet Poison Helpline website says there are not many immediate signs of highly toxic mushroom (or cyclopeptide) consumption, but symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and bloody diarrhea can be early indicators. These signs often lead to liver and renal failure, something few pets, or humans, can survive.

It’s too late for Luna, but Ronald hopes his story will help other pet owners avoid a similar loss. He said he now keeps his eyes peeled for the mushrooms everywhere he goes.

Recently he located a number of them on Oscar Street, near Moss Street. He reported the sighting to BC Poison Control.

“If I get another dog of course I’ll have to be especially careful…” he said. Because of what we’ve lost, I think I will always be looking out for these mushrooms now.”



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VicPD catches impaired driver near elementary school

Citizens alerted police to driver near James Bay Community School

Victoria’s Belfry Theatre hosts its first ‘relaxed performance’ for a diverse audience

Performance of Every Brilliant Thing is first to pilot the option

Car crash at Quadra and Finalyson Streets affects Saturday traffic

VicPD and the Victoria Fire Department responded

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Most Read