Dog owners, parents warned over nasty dangers in wake of NSW floods

·2-min read

NSW residents are being told to look out for some little-known dangers arising from wet conditions across the state.

Pet owners are being urged to look carefully at their dogs as leeches are being drawn to the moist environment of their noses.

"With all the soggy weather the leeches are out in force," Pittwater Animal Hospital wrote in a Facebook post.

"There is no better place for a leech to live than a soft, moist dog's nose. Keep an eye out before they disappear into a dark place."

Pet owners are being warned to be vigilant after wet weather and flooding with leeches know to be draw to the moist environment of a dog's nose.
Pet owners are being warned to be vigilant after wet weather. Source: Pittwater Veterinary Clinic

The veterinary clinic detailed an example of a leech found in a dog's nose.

"Finding this tiny leech on Pudding’s nose reminded us of a poor dog brought in in early 2020 with a leech embedded well in its nose," the clinic wrote. "Fortunately this leech had a beautiful yellow stripe to make it noticeable."

To remove the leech, vets have to hold it with forceps then squirt it with salty water.

Warnings over potentially fatal wild mushrooms

It's not only the pups that have to keep an eye out in the soggy conditions with NSW Poisons Information Centre warning people to be on the lookout for wild mushrooms growing as a result of the wet weather.

"The recent wet weather providing optimal growing conditions for wild mushrooms," the centre said in a Facebook post urging people to avoid ingesting the potentially fatal fungi.

Wild mushrooms can spring up overnight and are toxic if ingested.
Wild mushrooms can sprout overnight and are toxic if ingested. Source: South Eastern Sydney Local Health District

"Don't go eating these cute little mushrooms. Wild mushrooms can be toxic and potentially fatal if consumed," the post continued, recommending never to pick and eat wild mushrooms as it is difficult to identify which mushrooms are safe to eat.

"So stick to mushrooms from the supermarket for your risotto and bolognaise sauce," they said.

NSW Poisons Information Centre recommend always checking your surroundings before allowing children to play outside as they can grow overnight.

"Remove and dispose of any mushrooms in the garden or playground," they advised. "Poisonous mushrooms commonly cause nausea and vomiting, but can also lead to liver and kidney damage."

The Poisons Information Centre says to call them immediately if you or someone has been exposed to wild mushrooms, saying symptoms can be delayed but early treatment is vital.

In an emergency, call triple-zero 000 for an ambulance, or seek medical treatment through your doctor or local emergency department.

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