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Golden Retriever Puppy Nearly Dies After Eating Mushrooms From Backyard

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Pet owners beware: Those mushrooms growing in your backyard may be fatal to your pet.

Sandy, a 13-week-old Golden Retriever, was rushed to the East End Veterinary Emergency Center after eating mushrooms from her backyard, CBS 2's Carolyn Gusoff reported.

"We spent four days not sure she would make it," said Sandy's owner, Richard D'Alsace, of Manorville.

D'Alsace found mushrooms in his puppy's mouth but didn't think they were poisonous. By morning Sandy was vomiting and on the verge of kidney and liver failure, Gusoff reported

"She was practically on the verge of death," said Dr. Gal Vatash of East End Veterinary Emergency Center.

After 10 days of blood transfusions and medication, Sandy is now well enough to go home. But the danger remains: poisonous mushrooms grow everywhere.

"You find them in parks, backyards and along the road," said Peggy Horman of the Long Island Mycological Club. "They are deadly to puppies and toddlers who put anything in their mouths."

Mushroom experts called mycologists say there are more than 900 varieties of mushrooms on Long Island and only a handful are poisonous. Sandy ate an "Amanita" commonly called "destroying angel."

Amanitas are usually white -- with a cap and a large bulb. Experts say if ingested, act quickly.

"Once it happens, the sooner we can induce vomiting and start medical treatment, the better the chances the patient will survive," said Vatash.

"Had I had an experience or heard of a story like this, I would have reacted much quicker," D'Alsace told Gusoff.

If you're unsure about the mushrooms in your yard, contact a local Mycological club.

Sandy is on the road to recovery, but her owners plan to watch her closely in the yard.

They hope her story may save another life.

Sandy's medical bills are over $10,000. A web site has been set up to help defray costs at Saving Sandy ( or

Were you aware of backyard mushroom dangers? Share your thoughts below. 

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