Are Toads Poisonous To Dogs? Taking Care Of Your Canine | Kidadl


Are Toads Poisonous To Dogs? Taking Care Of Your Canine

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Toads include a number of species in the family of Bufonidae; toads belong to the taxonomy of Anura that makes up the whole frog family.

All frogs are toads, but not all toads are frogs. The main difference between your average frog and a toad is the texture of the skin.

Toads are poisonous, and toxins secreted by them can result in an animal’s death within minutes. The severity of the toxicity depends on the species of toad and the type of contact made with the toad. Toad toxins act as a defensive mechanism for the toad against predators and is secreted by both large and small glands. A few of the most dangerous species of toad are found in the Colorado River, Texas. Toads have a huge appetite and are often considered a farmer’s friend; they swallow and consume animals such as beetles, slugs, caterpillars, ants, and even small mice.

After reading all about the effects of absorption of toxins on the nervous system of your dog, do read the difference between a frog and a toad and about what toads eat.

What kind of toads are poisonous to dogs?

Toad poisoning in dogs is caused when dogs are exposed to toxins secreted by toads. It is obvious that toads do not like to be licked, chewed, or eaten, so they have their special defense mechanisms.

Typically, there are two types of toad species that can be poisonous to dogs. These two species are the cane toad and the Colorado River toad. The cane toad (marine toad ) and the Colorado River toad, also known as Bufo alvarius, secrete bufotoxins which can cause severe toad poisoning for your pets. This toxin can cause your dog’s nervous system to collapse and cause an abnormal heart rate, tremors, and seizures. Toad toxins are rapidly absorbed into the system of your pet dogs. The cane toad or marine toad can be found in the Sonoran desert, while the Colorado River toad or Bufo alvarius can also be found in New Mexico, California, and Florida.

What are the signs and symptoms of toad toxicity?

Toad toxicity is when a cane toad’s defense mechanism kicks in and releases toxins from glands at the back of its head. This venom is sticky and really dangerous.

There are multiple signs and symptoms of toad poisoning in dogs. Within a few minutes after your pet dog tries eating or licking a toad, excess drooling or salivation will occur. Other symptoms include vomiting with difficulty in breathing, bright red gums, pawing at the mouth as the dog tries to interact with the toxin released by the Bufo alvarius, disorientation, and dilated pupils. If the toad toxicity is more serious, it can cause seizures, tremors, and an increase in body temperature. It is very crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately if you see these symptoms in your dog.

Can licking a toad make dogs sick?

Your pet dog’s exposure to a toad’s venom can make it really sick, and if it is not taken to a veterinarian immediately, it can result in death in a matter of hours.

Brassy colored juvenile Western toad.

Pet encounters with toads are really common in warm or mild weather. Severe toxic exposure requires you to immediately take your pet to the nearest veterinary hospital for treatment. There is no specific test that can determine if your pet dog is suffering from toad poisoning. Blood work, an X-ray of the abdomen, and an ECG may help you determine the severity of the toad toxin. Within minutes after your dog licks a toad, immediate salivation will start, and as time goes on, the body temperature will start rising with an irregular heart rate and difficulty breathing.

What happens if dogs eat toads?

Dogs are extremely curious when it comes to small animals. Sometimes it’s a possibility that while playing in the backyard, your dog stumbles upon a toad and decides to eat it. But now what will happen?

The toad toxin is highly irritating for your dog as it is absorbed immediately in its blood system. The toad immediately releases the poison from its membranes when it is being swallowed by a dog, and the effects of this can be seen within minutes or hours, depending on the severity of the poison. Initial signs would include drooling or salivation, the dog pawing at its face, vomiting, upset stomach, and seizures. You have to stay calm in this situation and act in a very quick manner; otherwise, it can be really bad for your pet dog. As soon as your pet comes in contact with a toad, you have to wipe the inside of its mouth with a wet piece of cloth until you remove the slimy coating. Keep wiping and rinse for at least 15- 30 minutes. All of this will help with less absorption of the toxin by your dog’s body. However, if your dog is unconscious or is having seizures, or has an abnormal heart rate or breathing issues, call and take your dog to the nearest emergency vet available immediately for treatment. It is very important to seek an experienced veterinarian as a full-sized dog can die within 15 minutes after coming into contact with a toad if not taken to a veterinary clinic or animal hospital for treatment immediately.

How long does it take to show signs of toad poisoning?

Toad poisoning will require your immediate attention because if you do not take your pet dog to a vet immediately, it can be life-threatening.

You will see initial signs of toad toxicity like drooling, pawing, vomiting, and seizures after 30 minutes to a few hours. It takes dogs some time to process the neurological shock they have suffered after the toad secretes its toxins.

How do you take care of your dog after treatment of toad toxicity?

Depending on the advice given by your veterinarian, the species of toad your dog tried ingesting, and the severity of poisoning, you may have to bring your pet into the clinic even after treatment has finished.

Right now, there is no antidote available for toad toxin. Treatment of toad toxicity is usually decontamination and treating the effects showcased by the toxin on the affected area of the dog’s body. If a less toxic species has been eaten, your veterinarian may suggest anti-vomiting medicine. Dogs who are brought to vets within about 30 minutes after an encounter with a toad are able to make a recovery. The treatment will depend on your dog's symptoms. If the dog has continual seizures, they will be controlled with medication, and blood glucose, body temperature, hydration, and blood pressure will be monitored. Your pet dog will be closely monitored in the hospital or clinic by a veterinarian until the effects of toad toxins have been resolved. It is unfortunate, but some dogs might not survive toad toxicity. After all clinical signs of toxicity are resolved, no further care is required, and your pet can go back to its usual activities. Dog owners can prevent something like this from happening again by taking precautions to keep toads away. It is really important to take care of your pet’s health, as good health can mean your dog has immunity against other diseases.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for are toads poisonous to dogs then take a look at what a group of frogs is called, or Arizona toad facts.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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