UC Davis Warns of Poisonous Mushroom after Family’s New Puppy Dies

LOOMIS -- Veterinarians are sending a warning to pet parents after a Loomis puppy died hours after eating deadly mushrooms growing in his family's yard.

The case prompted UC Davis to send out an alert Friday about the dangers of death cap mushrooms.

Chris Ewing said before bringing their new 11-week-old klee kai puppy, Griffin, home his family researched all of the dangerous things to keep him away from. So, when the puppy started throwing up, they assumed he gotten a hold of chocolate.

At the animal hospital the family learned of a danger they had never even heard of. The mushrooms growing in their yard were death cap mushrooms.

"The vet even said, 'Even if he’d only licked the mushroom he would have died,' that’s how fatal they are," Ewing said.

Griffin’s family took him to UC Davis Veterinary Hospital where they used everything within their considerable resources to save the puppy’s life, but the mushrooms had done irreparable damage to his liver. According to UC Davis Veterinarian Kate Hopper, death cap mushrooms can cause complete liver failure in animals within 24 hours.

Griffin died four days after his family got him.

“It’s just horrible, it’s awful around Christmas," Ewing said. "Anytime you lose a loved one that’s part of the family it couldn’t be worse."

Griffin’s family is channeling their grief into an awareness campaign, telling neighbors and friends that the deadly mushrooms are potentially all around and can kill people too.

In 2012, FOX40 reported three Loomis people died after eating a soup made from wild mushrooms believed to be poisonous. Just this past June, death cap mushrooms poisoned 14 people in San Francisco. Three needed liver transplants and a toddler was left with permanent neurological damage.

Griffin's family hopes those stories lead others to check their yards and spread the word.