It’s incredibly dangerous if your dog licks a toad. Your dog can suffer from many complications if they interact with a toad. Toads may be found in various areas around your home, such as ponds, gardens, lawns, and yards. While some species are harmless, others are poisonous and can cause serious health risks to your pet. If your dog has eaten, licked, or interacted with a toad in any way, you should closely monitor them for symptoms of poisoning. To better understand the risks of your dog eating a toad, read more below.
Common Toxic Toad Species in the United States
Certain toad species can be dangerous to dogs if eaten or licked. The Colorado River Toad and Cane Toad are two of the most common poisonous toads in the United States. These toads can be found in Arizona, California, Florida, Texas, Hawaii, and other tropical environments. They can reach lengths of up to eight to nine inches when fully mature, so they are easily recognizable.
Toad Poisoning Symptoms
Toads have glands in their skin that secrete bufotoxins as a defense mechanism against predators. If your dog consumes a toad or licks it, the skin glands compress, and the toxins are released. This can lead to poisoning and cause the following clinical signs:
- Increased body temperature
- Difficulty breathing
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Bright-red, inflamed gums
- Eye irritation
The effects of toad poisoning will vary depending on the species of toad and the amount of contact your dog had with it. If left untreated, the venom can cause damage to the nervous and cardiovascular systems, leading to heart arrhythmias or even death.
If you think your dog has encountered a toad, you need to take immediate action. Rinse their mouth out and contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® (855) 764-7661 right away for life-saving advice. Take caution when rinsing out their mouth. You do not want excessive amounts of water in their system. Rinse their mouth with cold, clean water. The course of treatment for toad poisoning depends on how much toxin was ingested and how long ago it was ingested. Your vet may administer medications to control seizures and provide IV fluids to flush the toxins from their system.
After learning about the dangers of toad poisoning, keep an eye out when your dog goes outside. Toads are found virtually everywhere, and your dog will want to play with one.