Thursday, July 10, 2014


The Warning Goes Out
To Keep Pups Safe

This was so hard for John to do. He lost Otto but a week and a half ago.
But he wanted to get the message out to others about
the danger of mushroom toxicity.


Watch John and Otto's story...


A HUGE THANKS TO YOU JOHN!

I'm sure Otto is very proud of you
and is romping on the other side with my sweet Donato.

Here's another article about treatment to share with your vet.

www.pacificveterinaryspecialists.com/newsletters/Pacific-Tide-June-2012-Amanita-Mushrm.pdf


REMEMBER: If you suspect your dog has eaten a DeathCap Mushroom
the first 24 hours are critical...
it can be the difference between life and death.

Pick mushrooms, 
Bag them and Throw them out...
And DON'T let your dog see you digging them up, 
for it will only peak his interests.

 IT IS MY HOPE

THIS MESSAGE WILL GO OUT

AROUND THE WORLD

AND KEEP ALL OF OUR PUPS AND DOGS SAFE!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014







Another Little One Gone
He Ate a Dried up Death Cap Mushroom


I was just about to go to class tonight when I got a very sad email about Otto, a 6 month old German Wire Haired Pointer. He lived in Nipomo, California which is in San Luis Obispo County. Otto loved to go to Avila Beach and to the Eagle Field Drags. But basically, Otto loved to go anywhere his owner went...and they went everywhere together. Otto was a happy, active, people loving puppy dog. 

Father's Day - two weeks before Otto died
My heart goes out to his owner. He rushed Otto to the vets not knowing what made him so sick, but the vet suspected it was mushroom poisoning. They tried to save him but Otto didn't make it. Afterwards, Otto's owner searched and found the mushrooms that killed him. It was a dried up DeathCap.

I've been warning people since I lost Donato, telling everyone that in California, Death Caps are associated with Coast Live Oak trees, in Oregon with Chestnut or Filbert trees and on the East Coast with Pines. 

Many watch for mushroom during the rainy season...but we need to watch all year. If you have irrigated gardens or heavy fog, mushrooms can come up during the hot dog days of summer....and then there's the dried up mushrooms.  Unfortunately, the amatoxins are still there and will still kill.

Please pass the word...tell your friends to be careful. Print out the flyer on this website and post it in local pet shops. Though we're in the middle of a drought...the mushrooms are still coming up. There have been too many dogs lost this last month. Please, protect our furry friends.

Pick mushrooms, 
Bag them and Throw them out...
And DON'T let your dog see you digging them up, 
for it will only peak his interests.

 IT IS MY HOPE

THAT LITTLE DONATO, OTTO , COSBY, BELLA & TRUFFLES,

WILL CARRY THIS MESSAGE 

AROUND THE WORLD
AND KEEP ALL OF OUR PUPS AND DOGS SAFE!

REMEMBER: If you suspect your dog has eaten a DeathCap Mushroom
the first 24 hours are critical...
it can be the difference between life and death.

Friday, June 13, 2014



Cosby and her daughter Bella
MUSHROOMS KILL AGAIN...
This time in Gilroy, California. 

It was approximately 3 weeks ago that Diane rushed her two Newfoundlands and two Shiba Inus to the vet. Unfortunately, intensive treatment was not started immediately.

Bella getting her Championship
Crosby, the mother was just a few months away from becoming a veteran and her daughter, Bella was but one point away from her Grand Championship. Bella was Diane's first bred by Champion....but more importantly they were family. I am so sad to say two beautiful Newfoundlands....a mother and daughter lost their fight. The Shiba Inus were gravely ill but survived. It is thought they must have eaten less of the mushrooms.

Death Angel
It is not known if it was a Death Cap or Death Angels, but the necropsy reports came back showing liver failure due to amatoxins. We all think its so dry...how can there be mushrooms now? But we need to remember, people are watering their lawns and gardens. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Death Caps can be found at all times of the year. Though they are most abundant during the fall and early winter rainy season, the can also appear through late spring and even during rainless summers in areas of coastal fog drip or in stands of irrigated oaks.

Cosby

After losing Donato, I pledged to make his life help others... my goal has been to spread the word so others would not suffer.... to educate both pet owners and veterinarians. I'm saddened to say another has joined the cause. Now, Diane is also  doing everything she can to warn others and figure a way to keep our loved ones safe in memory of her girls.

Our suggestion....patrol your yard even during these dry months. Pick, bag and throw out the mushrooms.  AND...the next time you go to your vet, ask them if you came in with a dog who had just eaten a mushroom. What would they do?  How aggressive would the treatment be? The most promising treatment for mushroom toxicity is intravenous Silibinin, a derivative of milk thistle. Does your vet have this on hand?

Below is a link to a great article on treatment to share with your vet.

http://aspcapro.org/sites/pro/files/zd-vetm0207f_095-100_.pdf

Amazing as it seems both my Donato and Diane's dogs did not have aggressive treatment when we brought them to the vet. I went to a 24 hour emergency hospital. Diane went to an emergency/upper level hospital.  One would think that both of these places would know the treatment for mushroom toxicity. When I brought Donato in, I even had the vulva cup of the DeathCap and showed it to the vet....and still they did not treatment aggressively. Would it have changed the outcome?  I'll never know. But if I knew then, what I knew now I would have demanded the treatment or have gone to another hospital.

REMEMBER: The first 24 hours are critical...
it can be the difference between life and death.

Pick mushrooms, 
Bag them and Throw them out...
And DON'T let your dog see you digging them up, 
for it will only peak his interests.

 IT IS MY HOPE
THAT LITTLE DONATO, COSBY AND BELLA
WILL CARRY THIS MESSAGE 
AROUND THE WORLD
AND KEEP ALL OF OUR PUPS AND DOGS SAFE!





Sunday, June 30, 2013

IT MIGHT BE THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER...

      BUT MUSHROOMS ARE STILL GROWING!

With the rains that we've had on the west coast this last week and now with it getting so warm....it is prime Mushroom Weather. I was so saddened to hear about a 12 year old dog that was lost to a Death Cap Mushroom just outside of Ashland, Oregon. 

http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130628/LIFE/306280312


Remember, I lost my sweet Donato on August 17th to a Death Cap Mushroom. Who would have thought mushrooms would grow in the heat of summer?  But they do. Please, be careful out there!



Death Cap Mushroom

Pick mushrooms, 
Bag them and Throw them out...
And DON'T let your dog see you digging them up, 
for it will only peak his interests.

 IT IS MY HOPE
THAT MY SWEET LITTLE DONATO 
WILL CARRY THIS MESSAGE AROUND THE WORLD
AND KEEP ALL OF OUR PUPS AND DOGS SAFE!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

IT'S BEEN RAINING FOR DAYS...

      AND NOW THE MUSHROOMS ARE GROWING!

Just this morning I went out in my yard and found mushrooms, mushrooms and more mushrooms. After losing my dear Donato to a DeathCap Mushroom, I'm ever vigilant before I let my boy, Tesoro, out in the morning. Tesoro is now two...an age where I hear people say, "Oh my dog doesn't sniff at mushrooms.  He's full grown. You just need to watch the puppies."   NOT TRUE!!!

In July in Alaska, a beautiful two year old Bernese Mountain Dog was lost to mushroom toxicity. His name was Romeo. His owners miss him more than words can say. They've given me permission to post his picture here, so he too can help spread the awareness. It's not just the puppies.
ROMEO
Bear Mountain's Hershey's Swiss Kisser
May 15, 2010 - July 26, 2012

The incidents of poisonings and warnings about Death Cap Mushrooms continue to grow.


In the Bay Area, many have probably heard of the four elderly people who have died at a nursing home when the chef picked wild mushrooms (Death Caps) and made a soup for the residents.   


In Northeast Ohio, a state that wasn't on my map of where Death Caps grow....doctors have issued warning after toxic wild mushrooms were blamed for hospitalizing a dozen people. In one of the incident three people went to intensive care after a friend served them chicken cacciatore made with Death Cap mushrooms.


And yes, in England, a woman died after eating a Death Cap mushroom she found in her garden.


But on a good note...


I write this blog in hopes of raising awareness of keeping our pets and loved ones safe.  It really does seem to be working. Recently I received this email about a dog named Chopper. "Your blog made it to me somehow and I cannot thank you enough!  You may have possibly SAVED MY DOGS LIFE!  These mushrooms have started to appear in my back yard...Because of reading this blog today I will make sure he NEVER goes outside before I check the yard as they appear overnight."

Chopper


So please, comb your backyard every morning and keep an eye out when you walk your dog at the park. My mantra is to pick every mushroom. I'm not taking any chances. 
(Click on the above link...it's a news video/story from last Fall,
  but has some great pictures and information.)

Pick mushrooms, 
Bag them and Throw them out...
And DON'T let your dog see you digging them up, 
for it will only peak his interests.

 IT IS MY HOPE
THAT LITTLE DONATO AND SWEET ROMEO 
WILL CARRY THIS MESSAGE 
AROUND THE WORLD
AND KEEP ALL OF OUR PUPS AND DOGS SAFE!




Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dog on Long Island Nearly Dies After Eating Mushroom

A friend sent this to me....thankfully the pup is okay.  But it's a warning for those on the east coast...especially on Long Island and New York State!  Mushrooms are coming up!


Sandy, Golden Retriever Pup, Nearly Dies After Eating Mushroom From Backyard « CBS New York

So take care out there....remember if you need Mushroom Alert Cards or Posters they are on this website and can be printed out.  Or contact me if you'd like to order a larger quantity of cards.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dog poisoned by Death Cap Mushrooms SAVED by New Procedure

There just might be some hope if your dog eats a Death Cap Mushroom. 


There is a new procedure that provides instant draining of the toxins from the gallbladder.  I suggest we should all get this information to our vets.   


Please click on these two links below:

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/07/16/new-procedure-saves-bay-area-dog-poisoned-by-mushrooms/

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21087718/berkeley-dog-poisoned-by-death-cap-mushrooms-saved

We don't think mushrooms in the summer...BUT THEY ARE OUT THERE NOW!



I lost my sweet pup Donato on August 17th. And unfortunately, just recently I heard of two older dogs that ate mushrooms and died. It's not just the puppies.


Patrol your yard. Pick mushrooms, bag them and throw them out. When out on walks, be careful.


But at least now, if your pup eats a Death Cap...he has a chance to survive.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Donato's Message Warning of DeathCaps was on the Evening News!

Dear Friends,

This past week another dog in the area died of Mushroom Toxicity. Someone got in touch with our local news station and they decided to do a story on Death Cap Mushrooms and pets. The reporter called me yesterday afternoon to ask if I'd do an on camera interview. You know the answer ....of course I would do it. So Tesoro and I rushed over to the park to meet the news crew.

It wasn't easy being asked to remember those last moments of Donato's life...but that's part of the message....we don't want this to happen to others.  

The spot aired last night at both 10 and 11 and they even used it in the promo for the news.
Here's the link below. 


Bay Area Dog Owner Hopes To Reduce Mushroom-Related Deaths « CBS San Francisco


Donato's Legacy not only lives on but continues to grow. Bless your heart...my little silver angel. You'll never be forgotten. You are a very important little dog. 

Please continue to spread the warnings about DeathCaps and keep our fur kids safe. If you want to order quantities of Mushroom Alert Cards please contact me.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Protect our Pups!!!

3,000 Mushroom Alert Cards 
Donated to Bernese Mountain Dog National Specialty

I'm so proud to say "The Friends of Donato" have made it possible to donate 3,000 Mushroom Alert Cards to the BMDCA National Specialty. Donato's message will be put in every Welcome Bag at the BMDCA National Specialty and packets of 10 cards will be available to breeders to give to their puppy people.  We are asking if breeders could give a small donation so we can pay it forward and continue to print more cards. The cards are 3 x 4 inches and printed on high gloss card stock.  The .jpg files for the card and also Donato's poster are also available on this website. (see the above tabs.)



Unfortunately, just this morning I got an email about another pup in Menlo Park, CA that died from mushroom toxicity. So our work is not done. I challenge other breed clubs to help spread the word. Please contact me if your organization or club would like to order a quantity of Mushroom Alert cards. We make no money on this...only pay it forward so we can continue to print more cards. (see Contact tab above.)

Donato would have turned two years old last week. He would be a big boy now...and though he is only with us in spirit his message has spread the globe. My little silver gent, how he has grown and become a very important boy dog. 


Happy Birthday My Sweet Donato!



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mushroom Warnings on the Front Page

It's Christmas week and just yesterday a friend who was taking a mini-holiday in Healdsburg, CA saw this on the front page of the local newspaper.  My heart goes out to the owners of Chili and Weezie.   Please read the article...as there is valuable information about Death Caps and also other dangerous mushrooms.

Darvin DeShazer, founder of and science advisor for the Sonoma County Mycologial Association is quoted, "... it is a total weed in Sonoma County. On a good days walk I can spot at least two or three thousand death caps. Thirty years ago I couldn't find one."


Death Caps are definitely spreading. Be aware what's in your back yard and where you walk your dog.

The article also brings to light other dangerous mushrooms and something I had never heard of....scleroderma....which look like little brown balls.  Check out this link to see what they look like.

http://www.mykoweb.com/CAF/species/Scleroderma_cepa.html

The New Year is almost upon us....here's hoping in 2012 more and more people become aware and help spread the word.  Let's not lose any more pups to DeathCaps.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

DeathCaps are Making the News in Northern California

In the last week there have been several articles about Deathcaps.


                                                                        (Justin Pierce/Mushroom Observer)


One article was even in the Bay Area section of the New York Times!  Check out the links and please be careful out there.



Thursday, December 1, 2011

The First Blog

Welcome to the first blog. 


I truly wish I could wave a magic wand and make DeathCap Mushrooms disappear....or even better yet, I wish dog pee would kill them.  But that's not the case.


My friend in Carmel Valley, CA has picked several bags of DeathCaps in the last week.  ( I was at her house when I lost Donato. )  In the last two months we've had too many dogs die on the San Francisco Peninsula. Friends in Woodside and Menlo Park have found DeathCaps in their yards. I personally know of several dogs who died in Atherton due to mushroom toxicity.  I've been talking at dog classes, posting fliers and now I'm starting a blog. 


The California Health Department has issued an alert....and I was stunned to see the statistics from 2009 - 2010.

  1. According to the California Poison Control System (CPCS), 1,748 cases of mushroom ingestion were reported statewide in 2009-2010. 
  2. Two individuals died.
  3. Ten individuals suffered a major health outcome, such as liver failure leading to coma and/or a liver transplant, or kidney failure requiring dialysis.
  4. 964 were children under six years of age. These incidents usually involved the child’s eating a small amount of a mushroom growing in yards or neighborhood parks.
  5. 948 individuals were treated at a health care facility.
  6. 19 were admitted to an intensive care unit.
So upon that...I made a small card to hand out. Friends are helping with the printing costs.   In the next few days the card will be sent to the printers.  And then Eureka....it seemed that I needed a way to update and send out alerts....so that's the story on starting this blog. 


Hug your dogs. Keep them safe.  If you see mushrooms in your yard... the best thing is to pick them all, bag them and throw them out.