WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF MY DOG EATS A TOAD?

Toads are a common sight in many gardens, yards, and ponds. They can be harmless and may even be considered cute by some. However, there are specific types of toads that can cause dog poisoning that you need to be aware of. Below you can learn about the symptoms, treatment, and what to do if your dog eats a toad.

Why Are Specific Types of Toads Dangerous?

Toad poisoning is serious and potentially fatal if your dog eats a toxic toad. The toads that are most commonly associated with toad poisoning are the Bufo, Cane, or Colorado River toad, but other types of toads can also cause similar poisoning. Toads secrete a substance called bufotoxin from their skin. This substance is a natural defense mechanism to deter predators. Bufotoxin is a powerful poison that can cause seizures, heart arrhythmias, and even death in dogs. This toxin is most concentrated in the toad’s head and back, so if a dog bites a toad in these areas, they are more likely to experience clinical signs of poisoning. Toads also tend to hang out in areas where there is standing water, which can attract dogs that are looking to drink or play.

Signs of Toad Poisoning in Dogs

If your dog eats a toad, they can suffer from toad poisoning. The common symptoms of toad poisoning include:

Red inflamed gums

Eye irritation

Diarrhea

Vomiting

Abnormal heart rhythms

Breathing problems

Seizures

Depending on the species of toad and how long your dog interacted with it, it can determine the severity of their symptoms. Venom can impact the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Within minutes or hours of encountering a Bufo, Cane or Colorado River toad, your dog may experience any of the symptoms listed above.

Treatment of Toad Poisoning in Dogs

Bring your dog in for emergency care at the nearest animal hospital if you have any reason to believe they have encountered a poisonous toad. Treatment will be based on the severity of the symptoms and may include medications to control seizures, IV fluids, and close monitoring. With prompt treatment, most dogs recover from toad poisoning without any long-term effects.

If your dog is in severe pain, your vet may also decide to anesthetize it to reduce the severity of the symptoms. Knowing the species of toad that your dog encountered would be helpful to your veterinarian when treating your pup.

What To Do If My Dog Eats a Toad?

If you notice your dog interacting with or eating a toad, call Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian right away. A trip to the animal hospital may be necessary since the effects of toad poisoning can happen at a rapid rate. If you know the species or can describe the toad to your vet that will help determine the course of treatment. Your dog needs to begin therapy immediately for a full recovery.