Dogs are curious by nature, and they enjoy chasing prey animals, including lizards. In fact, dogs eating a lizard is a common problem! Can this be bad for your dog?
Dog Lizard Bites & Ingestion
Common lizards found throughout North America and other parts of the world are usually not poisonous. However, poisonous lizards do exist in South and Central America, Australia and other places. If your dog eats a poisonous lizard or is bitten by one, then he could become sick.
Having said that, even common lizards can make your fur baby sick if he eats one. The most common problem is Salmonella, which usually isn’t a health issue for dogs that are healthy.
Symptoms of Lizard Poisoning in Dogs
If your pup has eaten (or was bitten) a poisonous lizard, he may show some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Bleeding (at the site of the bite)
- Bruising and swelling
- Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
- Excessive urination and/or defecation
- Lacrimation (excessive tearing)
- Excessive salivation
- Low blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
If your dog is showing any of these signs or symptoms, it’s best to call the vet right way. This can be a medical emergency.
Signs & Symptoms of Salmonella in Dogs
Your fur baby can come down with an infection from Salmonella; the signs and symptoms can include:
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Skin problems
- Mucus in stool
- Unusually fast heart rate
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
Depending on your dog’s health and age, the infection may only be mild, or it could be severe.
In addition to being toxic or causing Salmonella infection, a lizard may also cause a bowel obstruction, depending on how large the lizard was and the length of its tail.
Treatment After Dog Swallows a Lizard
Treatment will depend on whether or not the lizard was poisonous, etc. If the lizard was poisonous, your vet may run lab tests to see if your pup’s organs have been affected. The vet may give your dog supplemental oxygen, an antidote (if one exists for the specific type of lizard), etc. Support may also involve IV fluids and any other treatments that will help your dog. If your dog’s in serious condition, the vet may need to keep your fur baby hospitalized until he’s stabilized.
Treatment of a salmonella infection will depend on how serious your pup’s symptoms are. The vet may treat your fur baby with support measures such as IV fluids, antibiotics and other medications if needed.
Eating a lizard may not cause your dog any problems; however, if he shows any of the signs and symptoms above, or you have any concerns about your fur baby, call the vet immediately.