WHAT HAPPENS IF MY DOG IS POISONED BY A CANE TOAD?

So, your curious dog encountered a cane toad, what can happen? Your dog may get excited because a cane toad is a new animal for them and they may try to play, lick, or eat the toad. This new experience can turn deadly if your dog has contact with a cane toad. Dogs can be poisoned, and die in rare cases, after interacting with cane toads.

Why Are Cane Toads Dangerous?

When cane toads feel threatened, they release secretions from their skin that are highly toxic. Cane toads can feel threatened by your dog if they simply get too close, lick, or try to eat toads. Toads are most active at dawn, dusk, and after rainstorms. They can be found all around the United States, but are most prevalent in Florida. Breeding season runs from March to September, and they can lay between 8,000 and 30,000 eggs at a time. When your dog is outside, make sure to keep a watchful eye. Prevent your dog from encountering toads by being vigilant on walks, stay away from bodies of water like ponds, and keep your lawn maintained.

What are the Symptoms of Toad Poisoning?

Bufotoxin is a poisonous substance found in toad venom. It is a hallucinogen and affects your dog’s cardiovascular and nervous systems. The amount of toxins your dog has been exposed to can determine symptom severity.

Examples of possible symptoms include, but are not limited to:

Excessive drooling

Diarrhea

Vomiting

Elevated body temperature

Seizures

Inflamed gums

Abnormal eye movements

Abnormal heart rhythms

Shortness of breath or trouble breathing

Tremors

Time is especially important when you are dealing with cane toad poisoning. An average-sized dog may be killed within 15 minutes of ingestion of a cane toad’s poison. Toad poisoning can be fatal, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Toad Poisoning Treatment

If your dog has been poisoned by a cane toad, immediately call Pet Poison Helpline (855) 764-7661 and your vet to get professional help. You will most likely need to go to the vet clinic and your vet will do a comprehensive evaluation to determine the best course of action. There is no specific antidote for toad poisoning. Instead, your vet will focus on addressing specific clinical signs. Your dog may receive IV fluids and other medications. Your vet will monitor your dog’s progress. Time is of the utmost importance with cane toad poisoning, so make sure to call and take your dog to the vet if you suspect they encountered a toad.