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Toad poisoning

What to do when your pet comes in contact with a cane toad.

The cane toad secretes a sticky, white, toxic venom through glands located at the back of their head. When your pet mouths or bites a toad the toxin is secreted into the animal’s mouth and absorbed through the animal’s lips and gums. The toxin is a hallucinogenic and cardio-toxic poison. The signs of cane toad poisoning develop within minutes and death can occur in as short a time as 30 minutes.

Clinical Signs

  • profuse salivation (drooling/frothing)
  • vomiting
  • disorientation
  • brick red mucous membranes (gums) that feel slimy
  • shivers and or tremors
  • muscle rigidity or spasms
  • convulsions
  • heart irregularities
  • death

First Aid

  1. Wash the animal’s mouth out with cool, running water for at least 10 minutes. If the animal will not allow running water, then wipe gums with a damp cloth, rinsing thoroughly after each wipe. This is essential and must be done immediately. Washing the gums will help remove the toxin and prevent more being absorbed.  Keep wiping and rinsing mouth and gums for up to 10 minutes.
         NOTE: Do not run the water too hard, in case the animal inhales it.
  2. Assess your pet’s condition and contact your veterinary surgery straight away.
  3. Keep your pet as quiet as possible and under close observation for a few hours.