Heavy El Niño rain, which catalyzes the growth of poisonous mushrooms, has caused the death of pets that consumed the deadly plant.
According to CBS San Francisco, veterinarians in Marin County claim at least one dog per week shows up sick from eating mushrooms. Lisa Bloch of the Humane Society of Marin told CBS, “Dogs can get very sick. Sometimes it’s just vomiting, but other times it can lead to death. It’s very, very tragic.”
Pam Moe, whose six-month-old puppy died after eating a “death cap” mushroom (above), said, “It was horrible. I can’t talk about it or I’ll cry. It’s been really difficult….The hardest one it was on was my son. He said, ‘puppies don’t die, babies don’t die.’”
The Humane Society discovered Sulphur Tufts mushrooms, which are known to be poisonous, on their property.
According to the Bay Area Mycological Society, the three mushrooms that pose the greatest danger to people and humans are:
- Amanita phalloides, the Death Cap, which has “White gills and spores, annulus or skirt present (but can be lost), with a membraneous sac, or volva, at the base of the stem. Cap color variable, from the classic metallic green-yellow, to tan, brown or rarely, white. Most common cause of fatal mushroom poisoning in CA and the US.”
- Amanita ocreata, the Destroying Angel: “Occurs in mid-winter through spring, under coast live oak. White gills and spores, annulus or skirt present (but can be lost), with a membraneous sac, or volva, at the base of the stem. White cap can show yellow, tan or light brown coloration, especially in the center.”
- Galerina marginata, the Deadly Galerina: “Small, delicate, wood-rotting fungus that contains the same deadly toxin as the amanitas above. It has an annulus (which can be lost) and brown spores.”