Two North Carolina dogs found dead after eating poisonous mushrooms from owner’s yard

Posted at 12:16 PM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-26 12:16:38-04

A Wake County woman has a warning for other pet owners after two of her dogs died over the weekend after eating poisonous mushrooms from her yard. 3

Janna Joyner works for a nonprofit that helps foster dogs and had six of her own.

“Her pack was incredibly tight, and she loved every one of them,” said Joyner’s friend, Nicole Kincaid.

Kincaid said Drago, a 3-year-old Saint Bernard, and Adoni, an 8-year-old lab retriever mix, were great dogs.

“Adoni was her first baby. She adopted him from Wake County Animal Shelter. Drago was a foster of hers. We call it a ‘foster fail’ when they don’t adopt the dog out and they keep it for themselves,” Kincaid said.

Joyner came home Sunday to find Adoni and Drago dead. The four other dogs were acting strange, stumbling and vomiting.

Kincaid works with Joyner at the nonprofit. She described her fellow pet lover as a “wonderful person and wonderful dog owner.”

Joyner didn’t want to do an interview, but she told WRAL’s Claudia Rupcich that her dogs were like her babies.

“I can’t even imagine,” Kincaid said.

Joyner took them to the hospital where blood exams showed traces of Amatoxin, a toxin found in poisonous mushrooms.

“The really toxic ones are called Amanita mushrooms,” said David Dorman, a toxicology professor at N.C. State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dorman says those types of mushrooms, nicknamed Death Cap or Death Angel, can cause liver failure. He says there is no antidote.

“A dog that consumes those mushroom can go from healthy to very clinically sick, to dead within 24 to 48 hours. So it’s a very rapid disease syndrome,” said Dorman.

Dorman said the toxic mushrooms can vary in size and color. There is no way to know which are safe. He says if you have mushrooms in your yard, you should get rid of all of them.

“(It’s) always best to cut them, bag them and throw them away. And then wash your hands yourself so you don’t get exposed,” he said.

Kincaid and Joyner hope people will listen to that advice.

“She didn’t know they were there, they were under the mulch. It’s just scary to know how close it was to home and how it can happen to any dog,” said Kincaid. “That’s what we’re really hoping, that we can educate people.”

Dorman says if you see your dog eating a mushroom, you should treat it as a medical emergency and take your dog to the vet immediately. The vet can induce vomiting or do diagnosis to see if the mushroom is poisonous.