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I was mowing my lawn yesterday, and at times it seemed like I was mowing my mushrooms!  The wet weather and cool nights have been conducive to mushroom growth.  I thought it would be a good idea to write a blog on the hidden autumn dangers for pets.

Many mushrooms are toxic and we all need to keep our pets away from them.  If you know your dog has eaten mushrooms, call your veterinarian or an emergency service right away.  Signs of mushroom poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and unsteady and/or weak movements.  If liver damage occurs, you can see a yellowing of both the skin and the whites of the eyes.

Besides mushrooms, Fall brings with it the potential for other dangers as well.  When the cold nights hit, mice often decide to take up residence in homes.  Many people prefer poison so that they don’t have to handle traps. These poisons are made to taste good so the rodents will be attracted to them. This means that your pets might be attracted to the taste as well. You can put either poison or a trap in an out-of-the-way place. But should your pet get at either one, you need to ask yourself if you would rather be dealing with a poisoning or a “snapped” nose or paw. In either case, it is best to put them both into a bait box. These are hard plastic boxes with one or two small openings that are designed to keep animals safe.

The biggest issue we see in the weeks before and after Halloween is from pets, mostly dogs, getting into Halloween candy. (Did you know that cats don’t have taste buds for sweet?)  Chocolate and raisins are toxic to dogs, so extra care must be taken to keep these out of a dog’s reach.  What kind of curmudgeon gives kids raisins for Halloween anyways??

Antifreeze is not the problem it used to be.  Many manufacturers have added a substance called denatonium benzoate which adds a bitter taste to the otherwise sweet tasting ethylene glycol.  This is important because between 10,000 and 90,000 animals are estimated to get antifreeze poisoning every year.  There was a bill before congress to make the addition of a bittering agent mandatory, but our Senate, in their wisdom, decided not to pass the bill.  Only buy antifreeze with a bittering agent in it!

Don’t let the dangers of autumn deter you from enjoying my favorite season of the year!

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