CANE TOADS CAN BE POISONOUS TO YOUR PETS
Ranging from the cute and cuddly koala to the deadly taipan, Australia certainly has some weird and wonderful wildlife. With some of the world’s most poisonous creatures living amongst us, one of the things our vets get asked a lot is, “How many snake and spider bites do we see?”
The answer is some, but we see far more cases of cane toad poisoning. The cane toad was first introduced to Australia in the 1930s to control the sugar cane beetle and quickly became a major pest in Far North Queensland.
These large, ugly toads have poison glands in the skin on their backs, and when mouthed by dogs these glands produce a milky type venom. This poison is extremely toxic, irritating and hallucinogenic. Affected dogs drool and slobber copious amounts of frothy saliva due to the poison creating a burning sensation in their mouth.
How do you know if your pet’s been poisoned?
Your pet will begin to show signs within minutes of being poisoned by a toad. Symptoms include:
•• Excessive salivation.
•• Flickering eyes.
What should you do if you see your pet playing with a cane toad or suspect poisoning?
First aid treatment involves thoroughly washing the mouth out for 10 minutes with gentle flowing water to remove as much poison as possible. To avoid water going down the throat or into the lungs, direct the water from the side of the back teeth with the water draining out through the front of the month. Use a wet cloth to wipe your pet’s gums, tongue and the roof of their mouth. Rinse the cloth after each wipe.
If your pet settles down after this first aid treatment, keep them quiet and continue to monitor them closely. If your dog starts to develop severe neurological signs such as rigidity, convulsions or difficulty breathing, seek immediate veterinary attention as cane toad poisoning can be fatal.
If your dog is affected by cane toad poisoning, our veterinarians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year. Contact us at either of our locations at any time of the day or night.
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