LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - There could be something growing in your yard that might kill you or your pet: toxic mushrooms.
KLTV’s Jamey Boyum talked with the Gregg County Health Authority about it, as well as a woman who believes her dog suffered the effects of a small dose.
Dr. Lewis Browne, with the Gregg County Health Authority, said he’s seen mushrooms popping up in yards around East Texas.
“Mushrooms really do like cooler weather. We’re always teasing and say when you want to grow mushrooms you find a cool dark damp place,” Browne said.
Browne said the high humidity and low heat allow the spores to germinate, and there are a lot of different types of fungus.
“A lot of these white mushrooms that you see that look like the umbrellas, those can be very dangerous if you happen to eat them or your animals eat them,” Browne said.
He said when the mushrooms open they release spores.
Browne works at the health department with Michelle Skyrme. She and Browne both think her dog, Boo-man, got into some. She said one evening he ...
“Started wanting to cough or hack similar to a cat with a hairball, salivated some, and even seemed to be biting at or pawing at a carpet,” Skyrrme said.
She said he’s never done that before. She took pictures of clumps of brown mushrooms in her back yard.
“And as they are deteriorating, they leave this slimy, dark mess in the grass, and we were thinking perhaps he walked through some of that and then licked his paws,” Skyrme said.
Browne said some are more poisonous than others, and are hallucinogenic.
“Hallucinogenic, so they can make you kind of hallucinate and also are very toxic and actually can kill you. Some of these, just two bites could kill you,” Browne said.
Skyrme said she will be cautious with her dog.
“We definitely are keeping a close eye on him making sure that he does not get back out there around those mushrooms,” Skyrme said.
Dr. Brown said that to get rid of the mushrooms, use a plastic bag turned inside out to pull them up without touching them, especially if you have pets. He said to make sure you wash your hands several times to get rid of anything that may have gotten on your skin, and don’t breathe in the spores.