Beware! Bufo Toad Toxicity!

Bufo Toad Toxicity Symptoms in Dogs and What To Do

What is Bufo Toad Toxicity?


Dog owners know it's not uncommon to look into the backyard and see your dog tossing about a toad and having a good time. However, you should always closely monitor your dog's exposure to any type of toad, as some species can cause significant problems for your canine friend. 

Two species of toad including Bufo marinus and Bufo alvarius can cause severe symptoms in both canines and felines after exposure. These toads are more commonly known as cane toads, marine toads, or giant toads. 

Causes of Bufo Toad Toxicity


Your dog or cat coming into contact with the toad is the primary cause of symptoms. This may result from your animal licking the toad, picking it up in its mouth, chasing or playing with the toad, or even just eating a dead toad.

Only a small amount of toxin is needed to cause an extreme reaction in dogs, so it is essential to recognize the signs so you can act quickly. There is also no known cure for bufo toad venom, so stopping the toads from entering your yard should be a concern if you live in an affected area. 

Bufo Toad Toxicity Symptoms

The signs exhibited by your animal will depend on the amount of exposure to the toad poisoning glands. Here is a general checklist of signs to watch for if you suspect your dog or cat has been in contact with a cane toad. 

* Disorientation
* Seizures
* Hallucinations
* Salivating
* Tremors
* Rapid Heart Beat
* Oral irritation
* Unresponsive pupils
* Trouble breathing
* Anxiety
* Pawing at the mouth accompanied by foam
* Vomiting or diarrhea

Regions of Concern

Pet owners who live in regions common to the cane toad should always be wary that these toads are a potential source of harm for your pet. There is a higher risk of your pet getting toad poisoning during the spring and warmer, milder weather. For tips and guidance on how to prepare for hurricane season this year, click here! The following regions are the most susceptible to problems with toads.

* Southern parts of Florida
* Texas near Rio Grande Valley
* Hawaii
* Northeastern Australia
* North Africa
* Europe
* Northwestern Asia

If you do live in one of these areas, consider seeking out a toad repellent that can be sprayed or sprinkled in your yard to make it less attractive to toads. 

Treatment and Recovery

If you know for a fact that your dog has come into contact with a toad, you will need to seek treatment and first aid help from a veterinarian. Tell the vet you suspect the dog has come into contact with a toad and if possible have a picture of the species ready to help your vet identify the first aid needed to care for your pet. 

Your dog will typically begin showing signs of toad poisoning within a few minutes of encountering the toad. There is no known cure for bufo poisoning so your vet will help manage your pet's signs and minimizing exposure to the toxin to reduce further signs. Remember that this toxin is also dangerous for humans, so never handle the suspect toad barehanded. 

Animals who have been exposed to this toxin typically recover within 12 hours if treatment and management of signs are started soon enough. Treatment of toad venom may include your vet making sure the animal can breathe adequately and monitoring heart rate to gauge how the dog's body is responding to the toxin. No test can be administered to confirm poisoning by a toad, so your vet must go through a process of elimination to make sure the animal's indications are from exposure to a toad. 

Your vet may also give you some medications designed to help ease tremors or seizures that have been observed in some dogs who were exposed to toad toxin. Charcoal can be administered to the animal to induce vomiting and reduce the amount of toxin ingested. 

However, it is important to note that this toxin is very dangerous and if your dog consumes a large enough quantity the animal could die from the exposure. If your pet does make a recovery, your vet will want to schedule a few check-ups to make sure there are no long-term effects from the exposure. 

Tips For Prevention

Tip #1: Don't let your pet drink out of his outside water bowl unsupervised as the toads are naturally drawn to this during warm weather. 
Tip #2: Don't allow your dog into the yard unsupervised during sunny and mild months. It only takes a few seconds for the dog to find the toad and pick it up in his mouth for him to receive a considerable dose of toxin. 
Tip #3: Consider getting a toad repellent that can be sprayed or sprinkled in your yard to make it less attractive to these hazardous animals. 
Tip #4: Small toad traps can help you catch toads on your property to be released in an area where your pets can't get them. 
Tip #5: The most essential step in making sure your dog recovers if exposed to the toxin is getting veterinary assistance immediately. Your vet will help manage your dog's signs and if possible, reduce the amount of toxin in the body by inducing vomiting. Always, always alert the vet to the possibility of poisoning by toad if you live in an area where cane toads are common. 

*Bufo marinus and Bufo alvarius are the two most common species that cause adverse reactions in our pets.