Amphibians like toads are a common sight in many gardens and yards, so it would not be uncommon for your pet to come across one. The question is, are toads poisonous to pets and should you be worried for your pet’s safety if you have toads around your house? Certain toads can be poisonous to both cats and dogs. Toad poisoning could occur if your pet has licked, touched, or ate a toad. The toad’s glands compress and secrete poison. Untreated toad poisoning can be fatal for your pets. It is important to get immediate medical attention.  

Where Can Poisonous Toads Be Found?

Toads can be found in several different environments; lakes, ponds, pools, the woods, and much more. They are most active during the warm months. Not every toad species is poisonous, but it is best practice to assume every toad you or your pet encounter is poisonous. Cane toads are a toxic species found in the United States. These toads secrete a milky toxin that can be lethal from glands on their back and neck when they feel threatened. If your pet mouths a toad and it secretes its toxins, it can be fatal.

Another poisonous toad species is the Colorado River toad, also known as the Sonoran Desert toad. This toad, which is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico, produces a powerful toxic hallucinogen called 5-MeO-DMT in its skin and secretions. This toxin can cause hallucinations, tremors, and seizures in pets if ingested.

Clinical Signs of Toad Poisoning 

The symptoms of toad poisoning in pets can include the following: 

  • Eye irritation  
  • Diarrhea  
  • Vomiting  
  • Abnormal heart rhythms  
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Seizures 
  • Red inflamed gums 
  • Excessive drooling 
  • Elevated temperature 

If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms after making contact with a toad, it is essential to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. If you can, take a picture of the toad your pet interacted with to make identification easier. Your vet may change the course treatment depending on the toad species.  

Treatment for Toad Poisoning 

If you suspect your pet has ingested a poisonous toad, you should seek veterinary care immediately. The sooner you get your pet treatment, the better the chances of a full recovery. Contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and visit your vet clinic as soon as possible. Your veterinarian may recommend inducing vomiting to remove the toxins from your pet’s system and administering supportive care such as IV fluids and medications to control symptoms. Your vet may also suggest sedating your pet until the effects of the toad toxin wear off.

So, what can you do to protect your pets from toad poisoning? Consider using a pet-safe toad repellent to keep toads out of your yard. These repellents are typically made with natural ingredients that are safe for pets and can help deter toads from entering your yard.