By Renee Schmid, DVM & Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT Pet poison Helpline; Rania Gollakner, BS DVM

What is toad poisoning?

Toad poisoning occurs once a dog is exposed to toxin secreted by certain types of toads. In the unites States, exposure to most toads reasons only mild signs with licking or ingesting many toads leading to drooling, vomiting and also oral irritation.

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Two varieties of toads in the Unites says can cause severe poisoning—the cane toad and also the Colorado River/Sonoran Desert toad. Licking or ingesting among these toads can reason life threaten signs. The cane toad (Rhinella marina) may additionally be known as the bufo toad early its former genus surname (formerly Bufo marinus). The cane toad is typically found in Florida, Texas, Hawaii, Louisiana and also other dry areas. These toads are very large, between 6 come 9 inch long.

The Colorado river or Sonoran Desert toad (Incilius alvarius) is found in California, new Mexico, Arizona and Texas. This toad is also an extremely large, farming up come 7.5 inch long.

Although dogs are much more likely to it is in exposed come poisonous toads, cats have also been report to build poisoning. Encounters with toads are much more common in the merganser season (March-September) when reproduction occurs. Toads are most energetic after a rainfall or during dawn, dusk and also nighttime.

What reasons toad poisoning?

Toads secrete toxicity substances through glands on your skin. This substances space secreted in greater amounts as soon as the toad feeling threatened. When a toad is licked or eaten, absorb of these toxicity substances v the mouth, open wounds or various other mucous membranes results in poisoning. Toads are poisonous at all stages the life, consisting of the tadpoles and also eggs. Also drinking water native a bowl in which a toad to be sitting or pond water containing eggs can an outcome in poisoning.

What space the clinical indications of toad poisoning?

Within minute of licking or eat a toad, drooling and frothing in ~ the mouth occur. The gums might become really red and signs of pain, consisting of pawing at the mouth or vocalizing, might be seen. Vomiting and also diarrhea space common. Signs commonly progress quickly to incorporate stumbling, tremors, seizures, abnormal eye movements, difficulty breathing, boosted or lessened heart rate and abnormal love rhythms. Without rapid treatment, death may occur.

How is toad poisoning diagnosed?

Most instances of toad poisoning in dogs room diagnosed once a pet has actually the supposed signs and a recognized or doubt exposure to poisonous toads. No particular test is easily accessible to confirm toad poisoning. Blood work, radiographs (x-rays) the the chest or abdomen and also ECG may be useful to determine the severity the poisoning and necessary supportive care.

How is toad poisoning treated?

One of the most crucial treatments because that toad poisoning is prompt flushing of the mouth with huge amounts of to run water. This decreases the amount of poison soaked up and the severity the signs. A garden hose or sink sprayer can be used. If the hose has actually been the end in the sun, assure water is cool before rinsing. Aim the hose or sprayer forward, pointing out of the dog\"s mouth. Try to suggest the dog\"s head downward to diminish the chances of water being swallowed or inhaled. Make certain to rinse the mouth, face, and eyes thoroughly.

Further therapy will vary depending upon the indicators that develop. Intravenous fluids, anti-nausea medications, medications to manage the heart rate, muscle relaxants, medicines to regulate seizures and medications to treat abnormal love rhythms may be necessary. A medication, Digibind, that especially reverses the effects on the heart might be taken into consideration in serious cases. Administration of intravenous lipid (fat) systems can likewise be considered to law the results of toad poisoning. Surgical treatment or endoscopy might be necessary to eliminate ingested toads.

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What is the prognosis because that toad poisoning?

The outcome depends upon the species of toad, geographic location the exposure and also how rapidly treatment is provided. Rapid decontamination and treatment are essential for a great outcome. Serious poisoning is an ext likely in Florida, where death is common if immediate care is not provided. No long-term effects are meant if the dog survives the early poisoning.


Pet toxicity Helpline, an animal poison control facility based out of Minneapolis, MN is obtainable 24/7 because that pet owners and veterinary specialists that require help treating a potentially poisoned pet. The staff offers treatment advice because that poisoning cases of all species, consisting of dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, huge animals and also exotic species. As the most cost-effective alternative for animal poison regulate care, Pet poison Helpline’s fees of $65 per incident contains follow-up consultations for the expression of the toxicity case. Pet poison Helpline is obtainable in north America by phone call 800-213-6680. Added information can be found online at