Every frog has the ability to produce toxins when they feel they are in danger, but many of them are not dangerous. However, there are some that can be incredibly toxic to your dog just a few minutes after exposure. There are two main categories of toxins that come from toads and these are bufogenins (digital effect on the heart) and bufotoxins (anesthetic effect). Bufogenins toxins can cause heart rate changes and arrhythmias and bufotoxins can raise blood pressure to a dangerous level. Each type can represent an emergency that threatens survival depending on the type of frog as well as the degree of the dog’s exposure.
The Bufonids, the toads, are slow creatures, making them a perfect target for many predators, including even for the smallest dog puppies. To compensate for their slow movement, many frogs are toxic. This means that if the puppy eats, licks, or bites a frog, it is potentially at risk of poisoning.
The obvious cause is the venom of the frog that the dog ingested. There are also risk factors to avoid such as:
Symptoms of toad poisoning generally manifest quite quickly after exposure. Depending on the species of frog your dog has entangled with, the symptoms may vary. Smaller dogs are more likely to be affected than large dogs, and it also matters whether your pet has actually eaten the frog or not.
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You may see some or all of the following symptoms:
Unfortunately, many of these symptoms are very similar to those of most other poisoning situations. In medical books, toad poisoning can look quite similar to antifreeze poisoning or chocolate poisoning. If you have not seen the frog or anything else that has made your dog ill, you will need to work with your veterinarian to diagnose this problem based on its symptoms and context indices.
It is not surprising that toad poisoning is caused by the close contact of the dog with a frog. This generally means that your pet touched the frog with his mouth to play with it or try to eat it.
As with most cases of poisoning, this is a real emergency. Some species of frogs can be lethal very quickly, even for a large dog. Because small amounts of venom are usually absorbed through the mucous membranes, you cannot treat poisoning by inducing vomiting. There is nothing in your dog’s stomach. it is not the same as chocolate poisoning.
On the way to the hospital, if possible, wash the mouth and mucous membranes of the dog with large amounts of water. Time is essential in this case.
Once you are at your veterinarian, he or she may perform a urine test, which may show high levels of potassium, will give your dog a basic physical exam, and look at an electrocardiogram (ECG). The rest of the treatment for toad poisoning is based on keeping the dog comfortable and safe. Your dog will be closely monitored and given pain medications, cold baths, and/or medications to help stabilize vital signs.
I cannot insist more on how important it is to bring your dog to the veterinarian immediately if you suspect toad poisoning. Dogs that are brought to the veterinarian within about 30 minutes of exposure to toad poison generally have a good prognosis. Otherwise, dogs might not have a good chance of survival if you wait too long.
Dogs are at the most risk of toad poisoning if they spend a lot of time outdoors without supervision. They are most likely to come into contact with frogs in the warmer and more humid months, especially around dawn or dusk.
You can keep your dog safe from poisoning by watching him when he is outdoors. Make sure your pet knows the command “leave it” very well and be extremely careful with puppies or dogs with strong hunting instincts. If you know that it is likely to ignore your commands, run, and eat from the ground, then your dog should not be allowed to go outside freely.
You can also reduce the likelihood that frogs will come to your home, by keeping the grass short and keeping water sources away from your dog’s favorite corner, from the yard.