Toads are found on almost every continent and like to be in moist, open habitats. They can be spotted by ponds, in backyards, forests, etc. Long story short, you have most likely come across a toad in your life and so has your dog. While you may not approach a toad and touch it, your dog may approach the toad and the situation can become deadly.
Certain toad species can release poisons that may cause poisoning in dogs. Toads have glands that secrete a poisonous substance to injure or kill predators. In the United States, most toad poisons only produce moderate symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, and mouth discomfort when licked or consumed.
Poisonous toads do exist in the United States, and they may be deadly. The most poisonous toad in the U.S. is the cane toad. These toads may produce life-threatening clinical signs if licked or eaten. Tropical environments like Florida, Texas, Hawaii, and Louisiana are the most common habitats for toads. Poisoning from toads occurs mostly in dogs, although cats have been known to be poisoned as well. It’s best to avoid toads immediately after a rain shower, dawn, or dusk. Taking precautionary measures is important, but mistakes and accidents can happen.
Clinical Signs of Toad Poisoning
The type and amount of poison can determine the severity of clinical signs. Toad poisoning can lead to death in dogs. Symptoms can range from very mild to severe. Contact Pet Poison Helpline® and your veterinarian immediately if your dog encountered a toad and is exhibiting signs of poisoning. Some signs of toad poisoning include:
- Excessive drooling
- Bright red gums
- Elevated body temperature
- Abnormal heart rate
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Lack of balance
Is Toad Poisoning Deadly?
Yes, it can kill your dog. For example, the venom of a cane toad can kill an average-sized dog in 15 minutes. If your dog has been exposed to poisons, you must take immediate action. If left untreated, your dog might not survive the poisonous cane toad.
Call Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian immediately. Toad-poisoned dogs should be treated as soon as possible since the toxin is quickly metabolized. Toads larger than the average toad pose a greater threat to your dog because of their size. Take your dog to the vet clinic immediately if it has been bitten, licked, or ate a toad. At the veterinary clinic, your doctor will do an in-depth examination to identify the best course of action. Drooling and vomiting that is not life-threatening will be dealt with. It is important to avoid any additional toxicity absorption by rinsing their mouth, as well as the use of medications for nausea, vomiting and heart rate regulation. Describing or identifying the toad will help your veterinarian determine the correct course of treatment.