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Veterinarians warn of hidden dangers to pets following heavy rain

It’s been a wet few weeks for much of the country, which means a lot of cooped-up pets are anxious to get their paws dirty. But as one Austin-based news station recently pointed out, heavy rains can bring hidden perils for cats and dogs.

KXAN spoke to one local veterinarian who reported seeing an increase in pet patients who have ingested the poisonous mushrooms that tend to pop up following wet weather.

According to the North American Mycological Association, 99 percent of mushrooms have little or no toxicity, however, the 1 percent that are highly toxic can cause life-threatening problems in pets. Because it can be hard to tell the difference between innocuous and dangerous fungi, veterinarians are advising that humans keep their furry friends away from mushrooms of any kind.

And mushrooms aren’t the only thing pet parents have to worry about. Hunter Bowen, a veterinarian at Firehouse Animal Health Center in Austin, explained to KXAN that pets can get into a number of toxic things associated with heavy rainfall.

“There’s also a lot of runoff that gets into streams and all the places that people like to take their dogs to play in the water in Austin can carry things from livestock pastures and land that’s not ever controlled or treated for parasites,” said Bowen. “It doesn’t necessarily crop up while it’s raining; it’s like today, the first nice day after it’s raining, that we’ll see pets come in with upset stomachs.”

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Until things dry out, veterinarians suggest erring on the side of caution. And if you think your pet did eat a toxic mushroom, take them to a vet immediately—they can determine pretty quickly if there is a serious problem.

For more information visit ASPCApro.org.

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