A PETERSFIELD vet is warning dog owners to be vigilant on walks after two pets became seriously ill with suspected mushroom poisoning.

The owner of three-year-old Spaniel crosses Marley and Epsi believes the pair fell ill because they ate toxic earth ball mushrooms during a walk on The Heath

Lisa Blackford from St Peter’s Vets is urging owners to keep a close eye on their pets and to keep them away from mushrooms and fungi as many types are poisonous and can cause kidney and liver failure.

Marley was first to become unwell and his worried owner Sam Gowans rushed him to the practice in St Peter’s Road when the mutt started vomiting, drooling and suffering from diarrhoea.

His sister, Epsi, started showing similar signs three hours later. Vet Lisa said the symptoms were consistent with poisoning and Mrs Gowans found undigested mushrooms in the dogs’ vomit.

Lisa said: “Marley was very poorly and subdued when he came into the practice and he was shivering and drooling excessively.

“While Marley was still with us, Mrs Gowans called to say Epsi had become unwell and she brought her into the practice,” added Lisa, who gave the dogs an infusion to neutralise the toxins.

“After treatment both dogs made a full recovery and were able to go home that evening. They are very lucky that their owner acted so swiftly and brought them to see us straight away.”

Lisa said that it’s important to call your vet practice for advice if you think your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t.

She added: “Prevention is always better than cure, so try and avoid your dog picking up anything out on a walk, especially as if it can be potentially harmful to them."

The dogs likely ate the mushrooms after running into woodland near the cricket pitch when out of their owner’s sight. When they returned later to check the area, Mr and Mrs Gowans found earth ball mushrooms, which resemble potatoes and may release spores if touched.

Mrs Gowans said: “I had no idea the dogs had eaten something on their walk, but then Marley started being poorly. The signs were very severe and it was quite frightening. He was very wobbly and was drooling like someone had turned a tap on.

“Even though it was a Sunday afternoon, St Peter’s Vets could see us straight away and the team was wonderful. They are always very caring and I knew the dogs were in safe hands. I

“I’d been worried that I might lose them, but once they’d had treatment they were back to their normal selves very quickly.

“We have been back to the Heath since the dogs were ill because it’s their favourite place to go. I was a bit nervous at first, but I’m now extra vigilant and keep an even closer eye on the dogs than usual and we stay away from any areas where they are mushrooms."