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Are toads poisonous to dogs?

Toad poisoning can lead to profuse drooling in dogs. Here we look at the common symptoms, how you can help the dog yourself, and when you should contact a vet.
Are toads poisonous to dogs?

As you’re no doubt aware, dogs love getting their snouts into things, especially when out and about in nature. While this is enjoyable and stimulating for your best friend, there are lots of things they shouldn’t come into close contact with - including toads.

Most toads contain toxins which are bad for your dog. And while mostly not serious, if your dog bites or licks a toad, you’ll need to keep a close eye on them in case they develop symptoms.

This is one of the many reasons why it’s a good idea to protect your pal with dog insurance, to help out with vet’s bills when needs be.

What to do if your dog eats a toad

  • Inspect the dog, especially in the oral cavity
  • If you know your dog has chewed on a toad, keep it under observation
  • If your dog begins to salivate profusely or is otherwise affected, contact a vet

Are all toads poisonous?

Most common toads have toxins that can affect your dog to a certain degree, although the severity is likely to differ.

It’s also worth noting that toads can be toxic at all stages of their lifecycle. That means that you should also try to prevent your dog from eating spawn or tadpoles, and keep an eye out for any physical response if they do.

Toads have glands in their skin that secrete a substance that can be toxic. Toad poisons are also called bufotoxins. This is a defence mechanism to protect them from predators.

What happens if a dog eats or licks a toad?

Toad poisoning - or toad toxicosis - is often not that serious, but can be troublesome for dogs.

If they bite, lick or eat a live toad, it can cause them to start drooling profusely - which in the worst case can lead to fluid loss. Also it’s a warning sign if they suffer vomiting or diarrhoea.

Your dog may also become disoriented and lethargic, or even have difficulty breathing. If you’re worried or symptoms are getting worse, you should contact your vet.

How can you help your dog?

First of all, it's important to keep an eye on your dog when they're outdoors - especially in areas where there may be toads, such as near ponds or in marshland.

If they’re a bit too keen to lick, chew or bite what they find, it may be best to walk them on a lead in areas where there might be toxic substances.

If they have come into contact with something potentially toxic, you can try to wipe the gums with a wet towel or similar, rinsing the towel between wipes. This is to try to minimise the amount of poison the dog will absorb.

You can also help your dog by wiping saliva around the mouth, and try to keep your dog's throat dry and clean of drool.

Don't try to rinse their mouth with water, as your dog can swallow it. Keep your dog under observation if they’re showing more symptoms.

When should you contact the vet?

Contact a veterinarian if the drooling doesn't subside or your dog appears disoriented.

If you’re an Agria Pet Insurance customer, you can also get veterinary advice at any time via our Agria app.

In some cases, the vet can give your dog a syringe so that saliva production stops until the poison has disappeared from the body.

If you’re worried about other things your dog may have ingested, check out our list of toxic substances for dogs. Also read our guide to which pet poisons your four-legged friend needs to avoid.

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