Victoria puppy dies after eating 'death cap' mushrooms
An image of the 16-week-old chocolate lab: (Photo courtesy of the Victoria Humane Society)
Adam Chan, CTV Vancouver Island
Published Thursday, September 19, 2019 1:11PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 19, 2019 6:45PM PDT
A 16-week-old puppy, Hazel, tragically died in Victoria Thursday morning after eating what is suspected to be death cap mushrooms.
The purebred chocolate lab was surrendered to the Central Victoria Veterinary Hospital by its owners on Wednesday afternoon after signs of illness began to show.
According to the Victoria Humane Society, the animal hospital contacted them to see if they would be willing to fund the puppy's medical treatments.
"We said, 'Absolutely, we'll take it on,'" said Victoria Humane Society executive director Penny Stone.
"They told me that it was a very guarded chance that the puppy would survive, but we wanted to give him the chance."
The puppy was then given blood transfusions to help flush its system of toxins on Wednesday afternoon. Sadly, despite the expert care from veterinarians, he passed away early Thursday morning.
According to Stone, the family that surrendered the puppy to the veterinary hospital believed that it had eaten death cap mushrooms, a toxic fungus that is deadly to both animals and humans and is occasionally found on Vancouver Island.
In July 2018, death caps were spotted in the Uplands and Cedar Hill neighborhoods, and in 2016 a three-year-old boy died after eating a death cap he found in downtown Victoria.
Stone is now urging Victoria pet owners to be cautious when walking with their dogs.
"Right now, they're apparently in bloom so I'd be very careful and keep an eye on your dogs and stop them from eating any mushrooms," said Stone.
"If your dog is looking nauseous at all, take them to a vet immediately. If it's eating mushrooms at all I'd take it in to get its stomach pumped. Personally, I'd take my dog in because if it's showing signs that means it's already in its system."
"It's better to be safe than sorry."
On Thursday, the Victoria Humane Society posted a thank-you message on Facebook for the teams at the veterinary clinic who worked on the puppy and for the people who helped donate to its treatment.
"Times like this are really hard for us, but when we see how many of you amazing people are behind us in taking the chance on one little puppy it makes it easier," said the animal rescue organization. "Thank you again."