Archive for November 15th, 2016

Dangerous Mushrooms Springing Up in Bay Area Yards & Parks

According to a Pet Advisory put out by SAGE Centers for Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Care, dangerous Amanita Mushrooms are springing up in Bay area yards & parks.

With both recent and upcoming wet weather in our area, SAGE wants to remind us about the potential danger of poisonous mushrooms growing in our yards and neighborhood parks. They recently had a dog presented to SAGE Concord in severe liver failure, just one day after going on a hike with his owner. Unfortunately, organ damage was too severe and he wasn’t able to be saved. A fecal sample later submitted for examination tested positive for amanita, known as the death cap mushroom.

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Clockwise from top left: Amanita phalloides are associated with trees and are typically found near oak trees. Lepiota are small, with a pink-brown scaly cap. These can grow in lawns and in the forest, and are not associated with trees. Galerina autumnalis is a brown-spored mushroom that grows on branches and woodchips. Pholiota is a group of mushrooms that are brown-spored, grow in soil, and have a flat to conical cap.

 

It’s suspected that this dog encountered mushrooms while walking through Briones Regional Park in Contra Costa County, where fog at the hilltop provides adequate moisture for mushrooms to grow. While poisonous mushrooms are an uncommon cause of liver failure in many parts of the country, they can be prevalent throughout Northern California.

“The death cap mushroom is toxic to the liver,” said Dr. Jeremy Wong, an emergency veterinarian at SAGE Concord. “It gets absorbed quickly and becomes part of the ongoing circulation between the liver and small intestine. It causes irreversible damage.”

Clinical signs of their ingestion can include vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, bleeding, and jaundice. Initial signs of illness often occur within 6 to 12 hours of the pet eating the mushroom, with organ failure beginning at 12 to 24 hours. The ingestion of just one mushroom can cause death in an otherwise healthy large dog.

If a mushroom is ingested, doctors will want to induce vomiting immediately. If the patient is already sick when presented, treatment is likely to include aggressive liver support with IV fluids, antibiotics, milk thistle, Vitamin E, and potentially other products such as antioxidants and blood products. The prognosis depends on the amount of poison ingested, the extent of liver damage, and the administration of early and aggressive medical care.

Exposure to amanita can be limited by making sure your yard is free of mushrooms and keeping your dog leashed in parks and other unfamiliar areas. Please spread the word. Let the pet owners in your life know to be vigilant about mushrooms.

 

Have you been wondering what’s going on with the PG&E towers in our Park?

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Well, after talking to the tower crew, our MFPA members, Pat Pizzo, Vince Piazzisi, and Larry Sasscer, have the following explanations:

They are in the process of applying tension to the lines in order to raise them. In order to do this, they have to beef-up the tower structure with load-bearing struts and then replace the existing ceramic  insulators with more heavy-duty ones than the ones that were already there.

Larry and member Pier Maggiani both talked to the Contractor and were told that after they have the new equipment installed and the lines tightened up, they may gain an additional 5 ft to 10 ft of clearance from the ground.  Always a good thing when it comes to saving our park trees under the power lines.

Vince talked to one of the crew members about the work on the tower just across the street from his house. He had noticed them installing wheels on the lines.  After asking about the wheels he was told this was to facilitate the tightening of the power line to take out slack.

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How would you like being over 70 feet in the air next to 115,000 volts of electricity?!