Understanding Your Pet's Needs
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Understanding Your Pet's Needs

After my pet had a long, drawn-out battle with cancer, I realized that I needed to do a better job with understanding my pet's needs. I wanted to be there for them no matter what, so I started focusing on my other animals. They needed more love, attention, and medical care, so I focused on those things. I started taking them in for regular checkups and working on their physical appearance. I was able to spot a few other potentially catastrophic health conditions with my animals because of my actions. This blog is all about understanding your pet's needs.


Understanding Your Pet's Needs

What To Do When Your Dog Licks A Toad

Gisele Pereira

You've heard the stories before about dogs licking toads and then dying shortly after. You may even think that these stories are just myths and don't have any bit of truth to them. Unfortunately, the Cane toad and the Colorado River toad emit a poison as a defense mechanism. If your dog encounters this venom, they can suffer greatly and soon die.

Because most people don't know which toad is which, this guide can help you understand the symptoms of toad poisoning and take subsequent steps to save your dog's life.

Step 1: Watch for the Symptoms

If you see that your dog is playing with a toad, by either grabbing it with its mouth or batting it with its paws, remove the dog from the area and watch for these symptoms of poisoning:

  • trying to scratch the eyes or mouth
  • breathing difficulties
  • seizures
  • paralysis
  • collapsing
  • fever
  • inflamed mouth
  • whining or crying
  • excessive drooling
  • abnormal heart rate

Step 2: Flush Out the Mouth

If you notice any of the above symptoms, grab a bottle of water and try to flush out your dog's mouth. It is vital that you begin doing this immediately as you proceed with the next step as this stops the poison from entering the blood stream.

Step 3: Get to an Emergency Vet

Take your dog to the nearest emergency vet. If possible, call them while you're on the way so that your intake procedure will go quicker. This is important because you may have around a half an hour to get your dog treatment before they die from the venom.

Expect the vet to perform a series of tests to check for an abnormally high level of potassium and to confirm that toad venom is causing the problem. The high level of potassium and the abnormal heartbeat are dead giveaways to vets when they are looking for toad poisoning.

In addition to continuing to flush out the mouth with water, the vet will likely place your dog in cool water to bring the fever down. They will also continuously monitor your dog's heart rate for several hours or overnight, and use drugs to correct it if necessary. Additionally, your furry friend will be given anesthesia if they are exhibiting pain symptoms. If your dog is drooling excessively, there are drugs the doctor can give them for that as well.

Once the absorption of the venom is stopped, and your doctor can regulate your dog's heart rate and body temperature, Fido will be in the clear.

Keep a close eye on your dog as they play outside during the early morning or early evening hours. This is the time that toads come out, so your dog can be in danger. Ask your vet for other tips to keep your dog safe from toad venom and other outdoor dangers.

Have more questions? Contact a professional like Robert Irelan DVM to learn more.