Poisonous Toads in Tennessee

There are 21 distinct species of frogs and toads in Tennessee. Fun fact, frogs and toads are the same animals. All toads are poisonous to pets. 

Examples of poisonous toads in Tennessee: 

  • American Toad 
  • Fowler’s Toad 
  • Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad 
  • American Bullfrog 
  • Crawfish Frog 
  • Gopher Frog 
  • Southern Leopard Frog 
  • Wood Frog  

The most poisonous toad in Tennessee is the American Toad. American Toads can be found in backyard, gardens, and fields, or any locations with water access, across Tennessee. Brown is the most common color, but American Toads can be red, olive, or gray with white or yellow bellies. The American Toad produces a milky poison from its skin. Toads excrete poison when they feel threatened.  

However, at any time a pet has ingested something that could be toxic, you should contact your veterinarian to make sure they are okay and keep an eye on them for changes in behavior. 

You can keep your pets safe by supervising your pets when they are outside, especially, by water sources. Keep your lawn short and prevent puddles to reduce toads in your yard. 

Clinical Signs of Pets and Poisonous Toads Exposure

Pets are exposed to toad poison when they lick or eat toads or expose open wounds to toad poison. Pets that drink water, where a toad was present, can harm your pet. Clinical signs occur quickly after exposure.  

Common Clinical Signs of Toad Poisoning:  

  • Drooling 
  • Frothing 
  • Red and painful gums  
  • Pawing at the mouth 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Tremors 
  • Seizures 
  • Abnormal eye movements  

Treatment of Poisonous Toads in Tennessee

If you suspect your pet encountered a toad, contact your veterinarian for potential treatment. There is not a specific test to confirm toad poisoning. Veterinarians will perform a blood test and X-rays of the chest to determine the severity of poisoning. Most treatments will involve flushing the mouth with substantial amounts of water. Rinse the mouth, face, and eyes thoroughly. IV fluids and anti-nausea medications may be used. If a pet consumed a toad, surgery may be necessary.

Most poisonous cases are confirmed if exposure has been confirmed or if clinical signs are being observed.


The type of toad, clinical signs, and how rapidly care is provided can determine the outcome. If you suspect your pet encountered a toad, contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® immediately.  

No long-term effects are expected if your pet receives proper care after exposure.