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Mushroom SCARE
The 'Weimaraner Memory Book'
 Dear Dog Lover,

Heres a short quiz on natural elements dangerous to
dogs: Which is more dangerous, rattlesnakes or

Surprisingly, at least in our experience, mushrooms
are much more dangerous. Although we do not have
autopsy confirmation yet, let us relate a painful
story in the hope that other dog lovers can avoid the
devastating loss we just suffered.

We have lived on this property for almost 3 years. We
bought it for our Weimaraner

kids as a safe place for them to romp; 18 fenced acres
with no access to roads and isolated enough that if
someone did get out there is little danger of getting
run over. We are behind a security gate controlled by
a remote & gate code. Service people, PG&E, etc.,
cannot drive onto the property unless we give them
access. We thought we had the perfect safe environment
for our family.

Then the rattlesnakes came. We came from property
where we encountered the occasional rattlesnake; it is
California, after all.  After a visit to emergency
with Destinee and Ryan and their tangle with the first
rattlesnake, then a July 4th weekend that resulted in
5 dogs being bitten, we fenced in a smaller 2 acre
area within the 18 - aviary fencing, the works. Last
year we only had 1 rattlesnake bite & managed to raise
our 2 babies by

keeping them inside yet another fence all last summer.
The Northern Pacific Rattler, while very toxic, is a
manageable threat. They warn if you are too near, they
dont always inject venom and the bite is survivable
with the proper care. Our dogs that have been bitten
are now very snake averse.

Saturday evening after the Camellia Capital KC show, I
fed the kids dinner. Destinee refused. This has
happened to us many times. Someone has eaten a dumb
thing, lizard, half of a bird, whatever. Destinee had
no visible symptom-no vomiting, diarrhea or elevated
temp. We took Destinee with us to a neighbor's house
and she slept in her crate while we visited. We
checked on her a few times...just resting. That night
she decided to sleep on the couch while we all went to
bed upstairs. She does this a lot, as she loves her
spot on the couch. Michael & I both checked on her at
different times during the night...still resting and
in no apparent distress. At 5:45 the alarm went off
for us to get ready for the Sunday show. Destinee was
in a coma. We spent the day in emergency. Her liver
was destroyed. Everything, according to the emergency
clinic vets and the specialist at UC Davis pointed to
a poisonous mushroom, the Death Cap.

If a Death Cap is ingested, by the time you see any
symptoms, it is too late. The only recourse is a liver
transplant, which is not done with dogs yet. The
course of the damage caused by the liver being
destroyed & wreaking havoc on every other organ is too
painful & grizzly to relate.

We combed the property & found 4 mushrooms within the
inner fence. It's a miracle we didn't lose more than
just Destinee. We could have easily lost everyone! 

The conditions that made this environment conducive to
Death Cap mushroom growth are very wet spring and
sudden warmth. If you have deciduous trees,
particularly Oaks, you may also have these lethal
mushrooms. Comb your grounds for all mushrooms and
compare them to the mushrooms found on this website:

According to the veterinarians involved, the only
chance of your dog surviving this is vomiting the
mushroom. This is providing that you are lucky enough
to witness your dog in the act. If this is the case,
The Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook, suggests
inducing vomiting by these methods;

Syrup of ipecac (1 teaspoonful per 10 pounds body

Hydrogen Peroxide 3% (1-3 teaspoonfuls every 10
minutes, repeat 3 times)

One half to 1 teaspoonful of salt, placed at the
back of the tongue).

May I also add, induce the vomiting & get to emergency
as fast as you can.

Forty-eight hours after Destinees death, and with all
the introspection, soul searching and guilt, Ive come
up with some realizations. We have had our share of
emergencies & tragedies. Our message to the caregivers
in these situations has always been the same, be as
aggressive as you can be, do whatever you think makes
sense. The money is not an issue. To hear the
veterinarians at UC Davis say this is hopeless no
matter what you do is just about as devastating as it

We are strongly considering moving since, unlike the
snakes, the threat to the rest of our beloved pack
from these mushrooms is too great. One bite of this
killer is 100% lethal. We will be looking for a flat
piece of land with no rocks or trees. We've had enough
Jurassic Park.

Shiffra Steele & Michael Ayers

Silverado Weimaraners

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

by Delbert G. Carlson, D.V.M. and James M. Giffin,