Nothing is more inviting to some dogs than another animal that’s small, and runs/hops/jumps quickly! Common animals found throughout the US are toads. And dogs seem to have a fascination with toads because they’re fun to chase and try to catch! However, what happens if a dog licks a toad?
Has your dog licked a toad? Are you worried the toad will make your dog sick? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog does something like this.
In this article, we’ll take a look at toads and whether or not they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!
What are Toads?
Toads are amphibians that are similar to frogs; however, they are very different from frogs. For one thing, toads usually have dry skin, warts, crests behind their eyes, and something called parotoid glands. Parotoid glands, found behind the toad’s eyes, produce a poison, which the toad secretes when in danger from predation. In addition, toads live on land most of the time and live on insects, small reptiles, and even small mammals. Some toads even eat other amphibians.
The substance in a toad’s parotid glands is called bufotoxin, which can cause death in small animals and even death in humans.
Most of the toads found in the US carry bufotoxin; however, they are only mildly toxic. Having said that, there are a couple of toad species that can be deadly to dogs:
Cane toads: large toads that generally live in Florida, southern Texas, Hawaii
Colorado River toads (also called Sonoran Desert toads): live in southern Arizona, New Mexico, and California
It’s important to keep in mind that these two toad species mainly live in very specific areas. If you don’t live in these areas, then chances are your dog has come in contact with a toad that’s only mildly toxic.
Symptoms of Toad Poisoning in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has licked a toad:
- Foaming at the mouth
- Gums become a bright red color/feel slimy
- Pawing at the mouth/eyes
- Whimpering, whining, crying, howling
- Difficulty breathing
- Elevated body temperature
If you notice these symptoms in your dog, then call the vet immediately. This could be an emergency. Dogs may develop symptoms right after contact with a toad or not until 30 minutes or later after exposure to toad poison.
Treatment of Toad Poisoning in Dogs
Treatment of toad poisoning in dogs is usually supportive, as there is no antidote for toad poison. This means the vet will work to stabilize your dog and keep him comfortable. The vet may use an IV with fluids to rehydrate your dog and to administer medications for symptoms as they arise.
The good news is that dogs who receive prompt medical care after being poisoned by toads have a higher chance of making a full recovery.