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We wanted to let you know that our beloved Bailey (MAGSR tag 5277) died after eating some dark false mussels. We did not know that these mussels are highly toxic to dogs, causing acute liver failure. We recently brought a boat into our yard, which had tiny mussels stuck to the bottom, and apparently Bailey crawled under the boat and scraped off and ate a large section of mussels. We pieced together what happened only once he got sick and we found the tiny shells in his poop. He spent two days in intensive care at Catonsville ER, and the vets did everything they could to save him, but the damage to his liver was too severe. He was only 6 years old, still full of joy and ball-chasing energy, and we are completely crushed by his death.
We hope that you will help to raise awareness of the danger that these mussels pose to dogs. (Ask potential adopters about boats?) We never would have brought a boat into our yard if we had known. The boat is now gone, and thankfully our other MAGSR dog (Sweet Pea - adopted in 2013?) did not eat any mussels. She is grieving for her partner but is otherwise in great shape.
Here’s a link to a Maryland DNR health alert about the mussels: https://dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/Documents/Dog-Health-Alert.pdf
It’s unclear exactly what in the mussels is so toxic to dogs. The ER vet asked to have a necropsy done on Bailey, with the hope of shedding some light on the problem, so we donated his body to DNR and the veterinary pathology group at Johns Hopkins.
Bailey’s mom and dad