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The aftermath of heavy rains brings dangers to pets. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (SPCALA) warns pet owners to be on the lookout for standing water, debris, and poisonous mushrooms.

Mushrooms often grow after prolonged rain and while some are okay to eat, it takes a trained eye to distinguish edible mushrooms from poisonous varieties. Best bet is to watch your dog on walks and pre- vent him or her from sniffing too closely or ingesting anything. If your dog does put something in his or her mouth, and you are able, get it out of his or her mouth. The “drop-it” training command is especially helpful in these situations.

Even if you are not sure if your dog has ingested anything, treat the situation as if he or she had. Contact your veterinarian immediately and bring a sample of the mushroom or ingested item to the vet’s office, if available.

Mushroom exposure may look like vomiting, diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset. More severe symptoms include weakness, lack of coordination, tremors, hallucinations, vocalizations, disorientation, agitation, and seizures. Death from liver failure can occur.

Other dangers to look out for are storm debris and standing water. Pets can injure themselves or become sick from drinking contaminated water.

The safest course of action is to keep a close eye on your pets, especially while walking dogs. Dogs should be kept on a leash so that they can be monitored during this time and cats should remain inside. Always check yards and enclosures before letting dogs out.

SPCALA is an independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization serving Southern California since 1877. There is no national SPCA, parent organization, or umbrella group that provides financial support to SPCALA. Donations run programs and services including Cruelty Investigation, Disaster Animal Response Team, Humane Education, and a variety of shelter services.