Numerous mushroom genera are GI irritants (Table 1).9 For the most part, the toxic principles involved are unknown,9 although idiosyncratic and allergic mechanisms have been proposed. Typically, clinical signs of acute GI upset occur within
two hours of ingestion and consist of malaise, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.9 The greatest risk associated with poisoning by these mushrooms is fluid and electrolyte imbalance. Most cases are mild and
usually resolve without treatment within 24 hours. If required, supportive care would consist of subcutaneous or intravenous
crystalloids. The administration of oral GI protectants could be considered once vomiting has ceased.
Orelline and orellanine
While Cortinarius species exist in North America, no poisoning has been recorded to date.9 European and Japanese species from this genus cause acute, irreversible tubulointerstitial nephritis and acute renal failure.9
As with most poisonings, the best method of controlling mushroom poisonings is preventing exposure. This means that only those
who are knowledgeable about mushroom identification should collect wild-growing mushrooms for consumption. Dogs should be
prevented from consuming mushrooms or roaming when they are being exercised. As with most poisonings, prompt upper GI decontamination
and supportive care are critical elements of treatment.
"Toxicology Brief" was contributed by Rhian B. Cope, BVSc, BSc (Hon 1), PhD, DABT, Department of Environmental and Molecular
Toxicology, College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331. The department editor is Petra
Volmer, DVM, MS, DABVT, DABT, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.
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