If you think finding a toad in your backyard is surprising, imagine discovering that your dog ate one! You likely have questions and concerns about this situation. Don’t panic just yet though; there are some simple steps that you can take if your dog eats a toad. Here we will explain what to do if your pup ends up eating a toad, so you can be prepared and act quickly if the situation ever arises.
The Trouble with Toads
Toxic toads, such as the Colorado River Toad and Cane Toad can be found in warmer US regions, such as Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, and Hawaii. They can be found in damp areas like ponds, gardens, lawns, and woods. These toads can measure up to 9 inches in adulthood and have smooth, leathery skin. When toads feel threatened, they can secrete toxins from their glands. If your dog mouths, licks, bites, or eats a toad they can ingest these toxins which can result in poisoning. Clinical signs can range from mild to life-threatening, depending on the time that has passed since your pet interacted with the toad and the dosage of toxins ingested.
Symptoms of Toad Poisoning
If your pet licks, bites, or eats a toad and ingests their toxins, they can experience severe poisoning. Possible clinical signs of poisoning include:
- Increased body temperature
- Difficulty breathing
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Bright red, inflamed gums
- Eye irritation
If treatment is not sought out, your dog’s nervous and cardiovascular system can be severely damaged, leading to heart arrhythmias and potentially death.
If your pet has eaten a toad, it is important to seek immediate medical help by contacting your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661. To help remove any toxins, carefully rinse your pet’s mouth out with cold water. Take your dog to the veterinary clinic right away, so that your veterinarian can assess your pet’s condition and provide appropriate treatment. The specific treatment will depend on the exhibited symptoms and the time that has passed since your pet interacted with the toad. The administration of IV fluids will help flush the toxins out of your pet’s system, and medication may be necessary to control seizures. To prevent pet poisoning, it is essential to monitor your pet’s environment and take necessary precautions to keep them safe.