How to Protect Your Dog From Cane Toad Poisoning

Posted on: 11 September 2017

Australia is known worldwide for its poisonous animals, and cane toads are no exception. While cane toads don't usually kill humans, their poison can cause cardiac arrest in dogs. Here's how to protect your pooch from cane toad toxicosis.

1. Know How to Prevent Poisoning

The best way to protect your dog from toad toxin poisoning is to keep them away from the toads that could cause them harm. Here are 3 ways to prevent a poisoning incident from occurring.

Don't Let Your Dog Roam Unattended

While running free without the watchful eye of a human sounds like a fun activity for dogs, it can do more harm than good. If you're not keeping an eye on your dog, how will you know if they're coming into contact with toads? An unsupervised dog could suffer a fatal poisoning incident before their owner even knows anything is wrong. The best way to keep your dog away from cane toads is to keep them on a lead at all times and keep them inside unless you're there to watch them. Likewise, even if you are physically present, remember that you need to be able to see clearly. This means keeping your dog inside at night too, when cane toads tend to be most active.

Don't Let Your Dog in Long Grass

Cane toads can be quite large, but they can also easily hide in long grass and bushy foliage. To keep your dog away from toads, you should keep the grass on your land trimmed short and regularly prune bushes. It's also best to avoid hiking on trails where foliage is overgrown. Stick to safe paths forged for humans.

Don't Feed Your Dog Outside

Unsurprisingly, cane toads are attracted to food and water. While they can't poison your dog simply by sharing its bowl, they can spray their poison at dogs who are feeding nearby before you have a chance to stop them. Keeping your dog's food and water bowls indoors can reduce the chances of cane toads getting too close.

2. Know How to Treat Poisoning

Sometimes a cane toad poisoning incident is unavoidable, so it's crucial you know how to treat your dog if they do come into contact with the toxin.

Identify the Poisoning

Often, dog owners know their pooch has been poisoned because they witnessed the incident. However, in other cases, dogs can come into contact with cane toad toxin without their owner seeing. The most noticeable symptoms of cane toad poisoning are a quick rise in temperature, foaming at the mouth, rapidly reddening gums and seizures. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, start the first aid process.

Wash Away the Poison

Cane toad poison enters a dog's body through the membranes found in the mouth and eyes. Using a slow-flowing hose and close, you'll need to wash away as much of the poison as possible from these areas. Keep rinsing for several minutes, and remember to wash the poison out of your dog's mouth rather than down their throat.

Call an Emergency Vet

Toad toxicosis is a vet emergency. If your dog has been poisoned,  it's crucial that you get to your local emergency veterinarian as soon as you're finished rinsing your dog's mouth. While you travel to the vet, wrap your dog gently in a damp towel to keep them cool and prevent them from getting hurt if they're convulsing.