Toxic Mushrooms

Amanita Ocreata “Western Destroying Angels”

The rains have returned and with the rains mushrooms are sprouting again.  The Animal Internal Medicine and Specialty Services team wanted to alert you to a serious potential toxicity for your pet, poisonous mushrooms.

The Bay Area is fertile ground for the Amanita phalloides “Death Cap” and Amanita ocreata “Western Destroying Angel” mushrooms. Once eaten, even a single mushroom, pets can become critically ill developing liver failure, renal failure, and even death.  Here are some tips and information on how to handle the mushroom season in SF Bay Area:

  • Prior to letting your pets out, always survey your yard for any new caps and remove them.  Wash your hands after removing them.  Be mindful: mushrooms do pop up overnight.
  • Work with your pet on rapid re-calls, and teach them “Drop it.”
  • Keep your pet on leash and monitor your path for mushrooms while out on walks.


Help! My Dog Drinks Toilet Water!

dogs drink toilet waterThere’s no question that dogs are wonderful, and as much as we love them, most of us are also keenly aware that they’re pretty gross. There’s almost nothing they won’t eat, sniff, or lick, regardless of how unsavory or unsanitary it may be – that includes water from the toilet. Because so many pet owners are understandably concerned when their dog drinks toilet water, we’ve decided to do a little digging and help our loyal readers figure out what to do about this unseemly behavior.

Fresh Tastes Best

The most likely reason your dog drinks toilet water is because it’s the freshest way to quench his or her thirst. Animals in the wild know that a running creek or spring is a healthier choice than a stagnant puddle or pond. The sound of water moving through your toilet and pipes may trigger a dog’s instincts as a fresh and safe source of hydration.

To increase the freshness factor of your dog’s regular water, be sure to empty out the bowl, rinse, and refill with fresh water at least once per day (more if possible). Some dog owners have great success with a circulating pet fountain, which keeps the water filtered and clean all day long.


The Keys to Crate Training Your Cat

Cute little tabby kitten sitting in a travel crateWhile cats continue to be mysterious in many ways, we know at least three things to be true: 1) felines are creatures of habit; 2) they have finely-tuned senses; and 3) they absolutely detest travel crates. But what if there was a solution to the last one?

Crate training your cat may seem like an exercise in futility or pain (or both), but we can assure you the benefits far outweigh any challenges you might face during the process. Intrigued? We hope so!