For the love of your pet: Mosquitoes, mushrooms, standing water cause problems for pets

By John Beck
April 26, 2012 at midnight
Updated April 25, 2012 at 11:26 p.m.

With the recent rains, the mosquitoes and mushrooms are back in full force. I think I remember seeing an article about the mushrooms, but couldn't remember what was said. Could you please recap? Thank you.

The recent downpour has brought back all kinds of things. It has made mushrooms spring up what seems like out of nowhere. It has brought back not only the mosquito, but also frogs and other pesky bugs trying to find a dry spot (usually inside our homes and businesses). And, don't let us forget the standing water we have accumulated on our property and in nearby parks and play yards.

Mushrooms can be harmful to your pet. Some dogs find them tasty, while others find them another fun thing to chew on from the back yard. If the right mushrooms are eaten or if enough of any mushroom is eaten, they can be toxic to your pet.

The most common problems your pet experiences from eating mushrooms are vomiting and diarrhea (both can be bloody and frequent). If enough of this occurs, dehydration can follow and internal organ function can begin to be affected. If you see mushrooms in your yard, the best thing to do is to pick them from their root and throw them in the trash. Picking them and throwing them back in the yard or kicking them over only eliminates their ability to grow larger but does not keep your pet from eating them. Leaving them in the yard can also help seed more and make a bigger problem than what you started with.

Mosquitoes are very bothersome, and worse, carry heartworms. Previously thought to only affect dogs, recent studies have revealed they are just as detrimental to cats.

Protecting both your canine and feline family is very easy. Simply giving an oral chew or topical drop, once monthly, will keep your pets from getting heartworms. These heartworm preventatives are also amazing because they protect your pet from intestinal parasites and some even do fleas, too.

Frogs are out and about and our dogs always seem to think they are fun, new, active toys to chase and torture. If your dog gets a frog in his or her mouth, a lot of foaming will take place. The only time you usually have a serious problem is if your pet is eating frogs. Discouraging your dog from playing with frogs is your best bet.

Finally, try and get rid of any standing water in your yard. Standing water is a great place for many protozoa, mosquitoes, bugs and other harmful parasites to hide. Your pet might be tempted to drink from one of these puddles, ingesting those parasites and potentially causing all different types of problems.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or your local veterinarian.

Dr. John Beck has a veterinary practice at Hillcrest Animal Hospital in Victoria. Submit questions to Dr. Beck at



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