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Cane Toads and Dogs

Common Problems, Dogs, Pets

Cane Toads are an extremely poisonous species. They are most prevalent in warmer months but can occur year round throughout Queensland.

When a dog comes into contact with a Cane Toad the consequences can be deadly, so it is important to act quickly and know the signs, as well as some first aid that can be given immediately.

How Cane Toad poisoning occurs

Poisoning occurs when a dog either bites or licks a Cane Toad. A potent and fast acting toxin is released when a Cane Toad is attacked or or feels threatened. The glands behind the head secrete the most toxin, but the whole skin is poisonous.

Dead toads, tadpoles and eggs all contain poison and can cause severe sickness if eaten, so it is imperative to keep you dogs away from them at all times.

Signs of Cane Toad poisoning

  • Drooling or foaming at the mouth
  • Red and slimy gums
  • Pawing at mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased heart rate
  • Panting or difficulty breathing
  • Wobbly gait or loss of coordination
  • Muscle twitches and tremors
  • Part of body (legs) or whole body going rigid
  • Seizures
  • High body temperature
  • Death

First aid

If you believe your pet has come into contact with a cane toad and is showing any of the signs or symptoms, follow these steps:

  • Call your local Fur Life Vet and advise them of the incident
  • Using a damp cloth, wipe the inside of their mouth until the slimy coating has been removed – usually this takes 10 to 20 minutes
  • NEVER use a hose to flush the toxin from their mouth – as this can make them to inhale the water causing life-threatening pneumonia
  • Take them to your local Fur Life Vet as soon as possible.

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