Can a Dog Die from Biting or Licking a Frog or Toad?
As you’ve probably experienced before, dogs are very curious animals that are known to bite, lick, chase, and eat all kinds of critters. One critter that you really don’t want your dog coming into contact with is a frog or toad. Toads and frogs can be dangerous for dogs and in this article we’ll explore what can happen and what signs your dog might exhibit from being bit by a frog or toad.
What Happens When a Dog Bites a Frog?
When a dog bites a frog, the frog will secrete a substance from their skin that will taste nasty to your dog. The main issue is that frogs and toads that are poisonous will secrete a toxic chemical when they feel threatened. This toxic chemical will be absorbed by the dog’s mouth and even can be absorbed into the eyes.
There are many compounds found within the toxic chemical and it’s comparable to heart medication for humans. These compounds include biogenic amines, bufotoxins, and bufodienolids. The toad will produce a lot of these chemicals through the skin and the parotid gland. When your dog bites on the frog, these toxins are secreted due to the glands being compressed. Dogs also can end up with toxins in other places if they have broken skin or wounds on the face or paws.
What Kind of Frogs are Poisonous to Dogs?
There are two different toad species that are very well-known for being poisonous to dogs and other pets. One of the species is the Colorado River toad, which is also known as the Sonoran Desert toad.
The other species that you’ll need to be on the lookout for is the Marine toad, which also goes by the name Cane toad. Dogs will often times encounter the toads either at night when it’s dark outside or in the very early morning.
These toads are most active in the summer months since that’s when the humidity is the highest. You can find them within the United States, although only in a certain section of the country. These toads are found in the states between California and Arizona, but also can be found in Florida, Hawaii, and Texas.
What to Do if Your Dog Bites a Toad
If your dog bites a toad, it’s important that you be on the lookout for certain symptoms that indicate your dog was in contact with a poisonous toad. Symptoms include head shaking, difficulty breathing, pawing at the mouth, and a lot of drooling. You may also notice your dog vomiting yellow fluid, hyperthermia, and diarrhea. Various neurological symptoms could also be present such as seizures, dilated pupils, vocalization, loss of balance, collapsing, and even death.
If you notice any of these symptoms or think your dog was in contact with a toad, then you should immediately seek out a veterinarian. You want to begin flushing out the mouth as soon as you can and continue to do this for 10 minutes. If you have called your veterinarian first, it might also be suggested that you use activated charcoal to help while you are getting to the office.
Various tests will be performed at the vet including monitoring heart rate and performing an EKG at regular intervals. The veterinarian may also give medications to adjust the heart rate as needed. IV fluids are also given along with a cool bath which will help stabilize the temperature of your dog. This is a life-threatening situation and sedation might be required if your dog is in pain or very stressed out. Your dog will stay at the vet until he has fully recovered from the toxin.