Bundaberg veterinarians Sugarland Animal Hospital have advised pet owners to be aware of the dangers of toad toxicity and warn a commonly used strategy by pet owners is putting their dogs at further risk.
Toad toxicity is a serious issue for pets, and is commonly caused when a pet plays with, licks, or ingests a toad, which have poison-producing glands on their skin.
Each case of toad toxicity is different, as some pets are more sensitive to the toxin than others, and it can depend on the level of exposure or absorption of the toxin.
In milder cases, the affected pet may froth at the mouth and potentially have some vomiting and gastrointestinal upset.
More severe cases can lead to seizures which require intensive treatment and if severe cases are left untreated, toad toxicity can be fatal.
Bundaberg Emergency Animal Hospital Veterinary Surgeon Dr Kimberley Van Der Schyff said if you see your pet interacted with a toad, never try to help by putting a hose into your pet’s mouth.
“A hose has high pressure, so inserting it into your pets’ mouth risks water entering the respiratory tract and leading to respiratory issues, and in the most severe cases, them essentially drowning,” Kimberley said.
“In the less severe cases, a smaller quantity of water in the lungs can still lead to infection and pneumonia which is a serious condition.”
“Sadly, we have seen a number of pets who have passed away from this present to our hospital.”
Kimberley recommended that pet owners who see their pets interacting with a toad immediately take a damp cloth and wipe out their pet’s mouth, in particular the gums and roof of the mouth, to remove any excess toxin.
Care should be used when doing so, as one of the symptoms of the toad toxin is seizures, which may cause the pet to bite down.
Kimberley also recommended calling a veterinarian to discuss the pet’s particular symptoms and to seek advice of any further treatment required.
“In any situation where you are worried for your pet’s health, the first step should be to contact your veterinarian,” Kimberley said.
If a pet ingests a toad, meaning they completely swallow it, take them immediately to a veterinarian as this is often fatal and is considered an emergency.
To help protect your pet from toad toxicity try to restrict your pet’s exposure to toads and ensure the yard where your pet lives is kept neat and tidy to reduce hiding areas for toads.