Rhinella marina or Bufo Marinus, Cane toad

Ugly little creatures that hop around the back garden at night may not be interesting to humans but they are very interesting to our dogs and this summer there are more than ever.  The unusually wet summer we are having has meant the conditions have been perfect for toads to breed and we are seeing a population explosion in our surburban gardens.  This is bad news for our inquisitive canine friends because toads are poisonous and possibly fatal.  Toads have poison glands on their backs which are used for their defence and when mouthed or bitten by a dog the toad squirts the poison into the mouth or eyes of the dog.

The poison is very irritant and causes a burning sensation of tongue and gums which leads to extensive salivation and frothing at the mouth.

If the dog gets a lot of poison then other signs can quickly develop such as muscle weakness, collapse, seizuring and finally death as the toad poison affects the heart muscle.

If your dog is unlucky enough to be affected by a toad the first thing to do is wash out the dogs mouth using running water from the hose or tap.  A good rinsing for 5 minutes will, in 90% of cases, relieve all signs and nothing else will be necessary.

The dog should however be closely observed for the next hour and if the frothing continues or if other signs develop then you should contact us immediately.