**PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST TO YOUR RESPECTIVE DOG LISTS & BEYOND****
I'm not sure how I should start this off, but suffice to say that I hope that everyone learns from it, and that it NEVER happens to them.
On Thursday this week, I came home as usual, put the 3 puppies I have here (Trace/Hannah/Smartie) into their puppy pen so I could let the big dogs out to do their thing. As usual, after the big dogs were done, they all came into the house and I let the puppies out into the big yard to play and explore with me as I go around picking up poopies and sticks and stones before the lawn got cut. At 5:30pm as usual, I tell the puppies that it's supper time, and in I go to make up their dinner and they all follow me to the gate. I quickly answered (an OK typed) email to a prospective puppy client while the dinner is warming up, look out to the side yard, rap on the window and tell them to leave it (I thought it was white plastic) and come for dinner. This was a space in time of under 10 minutes. I go out to the gate, and as usual, Trace is sitting at the top of the stairs waiting for me and Smartie comes along staggering and whimpering and can't get up the stairs. I'm thinking sh*t, what is going on here, grab the 'phone, call my veterinarian, screaming at the gals that it was me and I was coming in, that I have a puppy crashing and putting Smartie into one kennel and Trace (who's fine by the way) into the other. I'm running around looking and calling for Hannah and I can't find her and not thinking that she was in trouble, I kept thinking she's escaped (although there is no open holes or anywhere to escape from). My clinic fones to tell me that the 'phones are being put onto pager, and I'm just screaming that I can't find the bitch and ask (I think it should be I told her ) to get Gywnne, my vet tech friend to wait by her cell and I'll 'phone when I hit the road. It took me what seem like hours, but only minutes to find Hannah, under the porch in a very dark place behind the lattice work and I just ripped the lattice work off, pulled her out and put her on the bed inside my truck, and hit the road. What usually takes me 40-45 minutes to drive, took me 16 minutes with my flashers on, high beams blinking at those stupid people that insist on driving in the passing lane, and horn blaring.
I hit the back door of the clinic with a seizuring Hannah and Gwynne grabbed Smartie and we (I was helper only) prepped them for IV's with a quick assessement by my beloved veterinarian Al. This clinic is emergency trained and there was 3 techs, 1 runner, Al, and myself scrambling to get these puppies stablized. They were crashing and crashing fast. Protocol warrants Valium for seizuring dogs, so after a quick weigh on them, Valium was given to Hannah through the IV and whatever the prescribed amount was for her weight, a lesser amount of 0.5mgs (?) was given, and as they are working on Smartie, I'm with Hannah & Cathy (vet tech), and IMMEDIATELY she stops seizuring and her heartrate is going down fast and stops. Out comes the emerg kit, she's tubed and atrophine is administerd to bring her back and after a few minutes she comes back and appears to stabilize again. It is a given that her stomach needs pumping however at that moment in time it was impossible as they were trying to keep her alive. Smartie at that moment, is still with us and then I bring Trace in for assessment and he is fine (thank god for his food hound attributes, cause food is his life and thanks to his sire is probably why he is still alive)........and then
When it finally appeared that things were settling down (a matter of minutes, not hours), Al wanted us (Gwynne & me) to go home, look for the cause and of course, Gwynne was to monitor the other dogs vitals, just in case. We looked around in the area where I had seen them playing for that brief moment and found mushrooms....Gwynne called Al.......
The pieces we found explained the small piece (the size of an eraser on the top of your pencil) that was pumped from Hannah's stomach. At that time, they were being monitored and appeared stable and much the same as when we left them. Within the hour (although my sense of timing by this time was gone), Al 'phoned and told me what was going on and that all his training, all his experience, all his energy, could not save these puppies and that the best thing would be to let them go. The decision was made to let them go as they were in a coma and being kept alive by machine and human hands. There was nothing else that could be done......they were just 4 months old........and so I let them go.
So, from my tragedy, I hope you learn about these mushrooms. Of course, we can't have our dogs living in glass houses and not be allowed to be just......dogs......I have almost 6 acres of property and 1-1/2 is fenced for the dogs and the dogs DO NOT access the rest of the property. I clean up poop daily and pick up anything that looks or could look to be offensive to the dogs. What else can I do? I have never, in the 24 years of living on this property with puppies and/or adults, lost dogs to this. Of course, when poop scooping, like all of us, we get rid of mushrooms as we find them, as a precaution, but to have this happen is a shock.
These particular mushrooms are not prevalent in this area. There is one school of thought that they appeared on Vancouver Island in '98....others say there are not on the Island. There is at least 2 species from what I learned in my research and it is not certain if these are the mushrooms I have found or not. When Gwynne and I were searching for the cause we found more and they were taken to the clinic for evaluation. I found 6 or 7 on the Friday, none on Saturday, and one today (Sunday). They are not dangerous in their button stage as juveniles as they haven't developed the spores to reproduce, but they will kill if ingested! Mushroom fanatics have died simply by touching them, cross contaminating them to their edible mushrooms and cooking those.
When in the juvenile stage, they are pretty much white and level with the ground and they hide under vegetation which makes it difficult to find them. I have had to rake the area north to south and south to north, then east to west and west to east morning and late afternoon to try and find them. I have not found many more. They were in one general area where lots of sunlight hits the ground but with some low growing vegetation that keeps the ground moist. Every one I have found, save one, since the incident has been in it's juvenile stage so they won't be reproducing. Given time, they will be gone, but they could crop up again from the adults that had spores that I did find or that the puppies had eaten. When the Summer hits, they will go dormant and sometimes not always, reappear in the Fall.
I have been in contact with a mushroom expert and I am awaiting his instructions. The pictures I have sent to him appear to be of one species and their odour is nauseating. The link I am providing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_phalloides is one of many. You may cross post to any dog lists or friends that you think may benefit from this or if any of you are involved in a dog magazine, you have permission to use this article along with my name.
Finally, I would like to send out a HUGE THANKYOU to my clinic, Prevost Veterinary Clinic in Duncan, B.C. Canada, specifically Dr. Allan Longair, Cathy, Gwynne, & Erin (all 3 are Veterinary Techs) and Karen who was a big help in trying to keep me calm. They went above and beyond to save Hannah and Smartie.
May the shamrocks fall softly you two......Darkenwald's Lit'l Miss Sunshine (Hannah) and Darkenwald's Smartie Jones (Smartie); January 4th, 2008 to May 8th, 2008, exactly 4 months and almost to the hour when they came into this world, they left it. Someone said 'God musta wanted Hannah & Smartie back. When I figure out the reason why, I'll let you all know......
Leslie Anne Davey Darkenwald Setters (1968) & K9 Clips(1988) Ladysmith on Vancouver Island Beautiful British Columbia, Canada
"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful".
I am sorry for your loss!!! I consider myself pretty overprotective but this was really something I hadn't even thought about! I always am warning about frogs and skinks (which can cause neuorological problems or death).
Your best friend may just be a click away "www.petfinder.com"
Was pyrmom refering to herself in this situation or cross posting to help get the word out? Either way I am so sorry to whovever lost the puppys that is horrible and something one would never have thought of.
OMG...I am crying just reading this...My Max will eat anything and everything..I will have to search my yard..we have 5 acres..He is usually on a run when outside by himself to do his business, but when we are out he is allowed to run...Thank you for posting this to help us...Know you did all you could.
I am sooo sorry for your loss. Oh, what a tragedy. These babies can get into so much and so fast. Its hard to constantly keep an eye out. Who would have thought of something so deadly right in your yard and yet even house plants and so many things can be. Again, I am so sorry, bless your heart.
The loss was tragic, but was neither mine nor Irish's. He shared the post with me from one of his Setter forums and asked if I would be willing to cross post for him here and on my forum. I was more than happy to do so. It's a warning well worth passing along.
"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful".
Well folks, it's a little over 2 weeks since Hannah and Smartie died from eating Panther Caps (a. pantherina). Since then, I have been diligiently picking them as I find them and today I found 2 babies and 4 days ago I found 1 adult, so i'm thinkn' that their growing time is nearing an end. I've been told by a peer in the ES community that it'll be over soon and if I can go a week without finding one, then it's over.....for this year anyhow...and I have been told they don't come back in the Fall, but I've also been told they do, so that is something I "don't" look forward to!
From my story travelling the internet world, there was an article written in the local newspaper which wasn't really a good coverage, despite the information they had, but that is the usual thing with the paper anyhow. On Thursday, the story got awesome coverage in another newspaper and then on a local news station. Both myself and my veterinarian were interviewed. From this, I have been fielding calls both at my grooming shop and my home from people asking questions and of course, telling me their stories. It would seem I am not alone when it comes to losing dogs to this mushroom in the local area, never mind points near and far in both countries and Australia as well.
On Thursday, I received a call from a neighbouring district that his dog and his neighbours dog both died mysteriously. A toxicology report was done on one of the dogs, but nothing untoward was found. The stomach was not opened up to look for offending particles. After the article in the paper, they both investigated the area where the dogs were, and lo and behold there was a patch of the Panther Cap mushrooms and they knew then that their dogs had died from ingesting them, because the symptoms I described were pretty much a carbon copy of what happened to their dogs. I found out today that a litter of pups (German Sheperds I think) died in Victoria from eating the Panther Caps and also a litter (or most of the litter) in Nanaimo, also died. This has all been around the same time as Hannah and Smartie.
Today, a neighbour dropped in to visit Trace and told me that her husband was a amateur mushroom fanatic and I was told that the spores of these things can lie dormant for years, which explains why they have never been found on my property till this year. Weather is possibly a trigger, but who knows.
Trace has been a wonderful ambassador for the breed but also as a surviving puppy, people are paying attention to him. From out of the blue, a package arrived at my veterinarians (my address is not in the telephone book), and when I got it, a very nice gal from N. Carolina, who makes doggy clothes sent me a handmade Shamrock material collar and a bandana for Trace to wear in memory of his littermates. He had this collar on when we did the newspaper photo and though it's a little big for him now, he'll be wearing it all the time later on.
My veterinarian, Dr. Alan Longair is in the process of working with a mushroom expert and his colleagues in Washington state to try and come up with protocols for treatment, if anything new has been developed and how to get the warnings out so others, both human and canine, not be struck down as youngsters by this deadly mushroom......cheers...lad
Just to reiterate.....My veterinarian is working with mushroom experts with regard to treat ment to see if anything has developed or whether or not new drugs are available to combat the poisons that the Panther Cap have in them. Do not misunderstand me.....there is NO treatment in place for A.Pantherina poisoning at this time....if your dog/puppy eats one, it is likely they won't survive at this time.
***CROSSPOST AS YOU WISH*** Leslie Anne Davey Darkenwald Setters (1968) & K9 Clips(1988) Ladysmith on Vancouver Island Beautiful British Columbia, Canada
~I'm changing my naughty ways to naughtier ones..~
Houdini's Apple Cider RNCL SGDC ADC ~ AAC's Top Dog List 2007 - 11 Q's Stanton Acres Out Of The Ashes