- If there is a cane toad in your pet’s mouth, remove it, washing your hands thoroughly with soapy water afterwards.
- It is vital to seek immediately veterinary attention as medication is often required to counter the effects of the venom on the heart.
- Gently rinse the mouth out with water (using a slow hose for larger dogs or a syringe in smaller dogs) – pointing the hose or syringe across rather than towards the back of the mouth so the animal does not aspirate water.
- Using a damp cloth, wipe the mouth and gums as the venom is very sticky.
- If you witness your pet swallowing a cane toad, your veterinarian may instruct you to induce vomiting, however, do not induce vomiting unless instructed to.Vomiting should never be induced in an animal that is seizuring.
Clinical signs occur within minutes of ingestion.The type and severity of clinical signs depend to some extent on how much venom your pet has been exposed do. Large dogs that transiently mouth a cane toad may be fortunate enough to have only irritation of the mouth, whereas prolonged licking, chewing or swallowing tends to result in systemic signs.
- Fecal and urinary incontinence
- Irritation/redness of the gums
- Abdominal pain
- Uncoordinated gait (Ataxia)
- Increased respiratory rate (tachypnea)
- Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
- Irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
- Fixed pupils
- Blue-tinged gums (cyanosis)
- Less commonly: progressive muscle paralysis, blindness.
EFFECTS OF TOXICITY
Toad venom acts on the digestive system, cardiovascular system and nervous system.
Your veterinarian may recommend intensive care monitoring of your pet, further decontamination measures such as administration of activated charcoal or gastric lavage and supportive care.
Barbosa CM, Medeiros MS, Costa R, Camplesi AC and Sakate M (2009) Toad poisoning in three dogs: case reports.