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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich farm stands can stay open

Council amending bylaw to allow for temporary use permits

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

Most Read