Something in the back of my mind…

Last year’s Nightmare

When we went on our vacation last year at this time, Rio our Yorkie-Dachshund mix was less than a year old. We started this tradition to go away for the first week of July about five years ago. The last two years we have went to Sunriver to camp, like we are doing this year. It was a blast except for one near disaster.

Unknown to us, this is the time of year in Central Oregon brings lots of different fungi and poisonous plants in bloom. The campground that we go to I’ve been staying in for forty years and I’ve never even heard of such a thing as a poisonous fungi in the campground. I’ve actually never heard of animals having any reaction at all to any plants!


I’m not certain this is exactly the plant, but it looked very similar to this photo.

So hear is what happened…

We were in our normal area of the campground, having a great time. Rio and Coco were on a cable in our campsite so they could be outside at camp with us. They weren’t off leash at all and seemed to be completely fine one evening when we all hopped in bed to go to sleep.

Rio is a snuggler. If you have a Yorkie you will know what I mean about what cuddle bugs they are. This particular morning I woke up and she wasn’t in our bed. Instead she was walking around in circles, moaning, and banging into the wall repeatedly. Instantly I knew that something was NOT right and I woke Ryan up.

We tried to talk to her, give her water, snuggle her but she wasn’t coherent at all. She was trippin’ big time! So we left the kids with my parents and Ryan and I drove into Bend to an animal hospital that was open at 5 am.

At the Bend Animal Hospital

Right there on the counter was a flyer that warned of poisonous fungi and plants in the area that are in bloom. Right away I remembered seeing this weird looking plant at camp and around the campground. It was reddish-pink and looked like an asparagus. It was such an unusual color and size that it stood out.

The vet at first asked if she may have been exposed to Marijuana or even sugar-free gum.? Um, no pretty sure its not that. I guess a few dogs were at the hospital that morning already being treated for toxic doses of both.

After looking her over, they sedated her and said the only thing we could do was to wait it out and hope for the best. If she injested too much of the toxin it could shut down her kidneys, and she won’t know for a day or so.

We went back to camp a mess. We somehow had let our little puppy take a potentially lethal trip on mushrooms! So crazy! We joke about her issue with mushrooms now but that day was really hard.

The vet was able to give her something that helped eliminate the poison from her blood stream, which apparently was really expensive! But Rio was so tiny she was able to use a bit of medicine leftover from another dog before Rio. At least that is what we were told. We were so thankful for that! Still our bill was about $700 for one day of detox and rest for a girl with a mushroom habit.😳

Forward to today

We are about to camp for two weeks at the same campground. So yes, I am a bit nervous and we will undoubtedly scour our campsite for anything strange and eliminate it immediately. Also Rio is going to be mostly an indoor girl this trip. I do not trust her at all! 🤣

Have you heard of anything like this? Or had any strange issues with your pets and things they have eaten while on vacation? It seems so unusual to me… But honestly I think it is on all of our minds a bit…

So when your out camping or hiking with your pets, just be extra cautious, especially if you have a little dog like Rio who will nibble on just about anything. She almost didn’t come home with us.

#colecampfireblog, #poisonousplants, #pets, #dogs, #Sunriver, #camping, #thousandtrails, #100daysofcamping,

26 replies »

  1. We get stinkhorn out here from time to time. Haven’t heard of them killing dogs, but the can make them sick if they eat a mature one. These mushrooms stink! Spread by insect rather than spore and come from nasty egg-like pods. Our cats will sometimes nibble on one, but this year we don’t have any yet…just giant white toadstools all over.

    • I have no idea what she got into or what it was called.. but I will def go thru our campsite real well… never heard of stinkhorn. ☀️thank for your comment!

      • They are part of the phallic mushroom family. To put it bluntly, they look like little d***s popping up from the ground…lol. That’s how they got that name. They come in all colors and can pop up over night.

  2. There are so many little things that are easy for us to forget. We go camping or a walk in the woods without realizing the dangers around us. One silver lining is that you had this experience once and once is all it takes. Relax and have fun.

  3. Our old Labrador was a greedy bugger. We had a washing line lead at our old house so he could have a good old wander but still be tied up. He got into my tomato plants and actually ate leaves/stalks whatever as well as tomatoes. I didn’t realize this at first. He came when called and later that evening, was uncoordinated – kinda dizzy and pukey. This went on for a few days over the long July 4th weekend and he was getting worse each day. I thought he was having a stroke or something so I rushed him to the vet who couldn’t find any causes. Eventually I saw the fat turd eating the tomato plants and figured out what that was. We moved his lead so he couldn’t get to them and he was fine within a few days. Tomatoes never upset him – he loved them! The plants however were another matter. I found a new spot to plant them after that too

  4. Wow! What a wild experience. I am so glad your fur baby is okay! When our dog was a puppy she had a bacterial overgrowth in her gut and was put on antibiotics which made her “see” things. We found her laying on the floor of our tiny 2nd bathroom hiding in the dark for hours. Needless to say, we stopped the medicine and gave her yogurt.

  5. That must have been terrifying. Poor little thing! So little that it wouldn’t take much to get her sick I bet.
    We had experience only with our dog chewing on a bulb of a plant on our deck. She knocked to plant over, dug it up, and chewed the bulbs only to start foaming at the mouth and it was awful. I have activated charcoal at home and bentonite clay and gave that to her. The vet said she would not even have made it to the office based on what she ate. I am pretty sure molly had 9 lives though.
    I hope your trip this year is wonderful.
    Very informative post. I honestly would not have thought to scour the site for mushrooms. I’ve seen one like this before. Good to know to stay away.

    • Thank you! Ya these things have never crossed my mind before.. seems like lots of people have had similar experiences. Rio is like 7 pounds so it didn’t take much. ☀️

  6. I think that is a stinkhorn in your pic and I have heard bad things about them with animals! I uses dogs are attracted to the stink of them! Your girl is so precious and I don’t blame you for keeping her inside. I love the picture of her and Bob the most! ♥️

  7. I’m glad that Rio made it. Bear has not eaten anything funny on a camping trip but as a puppy he brought me a half eaten package of rat poison. It was a Sunday and there wasn’t a close emergency vet. Luckily he had just eaten it and I was able to make him throw up. He was not a happy puppy but he was fine.

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