Poisonous Toads Harmful to Dogs: A Guide

what toads are poisonous to dogs

Toad poisoning is a big danger to dogs. Some toads make toxins that harm dogs. These can cause serious sickness if we don’t act fast. In the US, the cane toad and the Colorado River/Sonoran Desert toad are very dangerous.

Dogs can easily meet these bad toads. Cats can get sick from them too. These toads like to come out after it rains or during dawn, dusk, and night. This makes those times very risky for pets. We must treat them fast for a good chance of getting better.

Key Takeaways:

  • Certain species of toads secrete toxins that can harm dogs.
  • The cane toad and the Colorado River/Sonoran Desert toad are the two most toxic species in the United States.
  • Toads are most active after rainfall or during dawn, dusk, and nighttime.
  • Immediate treatment is essential to ensure a positive prognosis.
  • Keep dogs away from areas where these poisonous toads are likely to be found.
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Identifying Poisonous Toads

It’s super important to know which toads are dangerous to our dogs. In the U.S., there are two toxic toad types to watch out for. These are the cane toad (Rhinella marina) and the Colorado River/Sonoran Desert toad (Incilius alvarius).

The cane toad lives in places like Florida, Texas, and Hawaii. Meanwhile, the Colorado River/Sonoran Desert toad calls California, New Mexico, and Arizona home. Cane toads can be as big as 9 inches long. Colorado River/Sonoran Desert toads can grow up to 7.5 inches.

To keep our dogs safe, we must keep them away from these toads. Learning what these toads look like helps us protect our pups. This way, we can avoid any bad poisoning cases.

How Toad Poisoning Occurs

Toads make toxic stuff on their skin if they’re scared. If a dog licks or eats a toad, it can get sick from the poison. This happens through the mouth or cuts.

Toads are poisonous when they’re big and even as babies. If a dog drinks from a bowl with a toad or from a pond with eggs, it can get sick. Keep dogs away from toads to keep them safe.

Clinical Signs of Toad Poisoning

Toad poisoning can make dogs very sick. It’s important for owners to know the signs and get help fast. Dogs can drool, foam at the mouth, and have red gums early on. They might also show they’re in pain by pawing at their mouth or making noises.

Dogs can also throw up and have diarrhea, which can make them dehydrated. If not treated, they may stumble, shake, or have seizures. They might also have trouble breathing, weird eye movements, and heart issues.

If dogs don’t get help quickly, they might die from toad poisoning. Owners need to watch their dogs closely for any unusual signs. If they see these signs, they must get help right away. Acting fast can save their dog’s life.

“Toad poisoning can quickly get worse and be very dangerous. Knowing what to look for and acting fast is key to helping your dog recover.”

Diagnosis of Toad Poisoning

Finding out if a dog has toad poisoning is hard. There’s no special test for it. But, vets can often tell by looking at the signs and knowing if the dog was near toads.

Vets look at the dog’s history and symptoms. They check the dog over carefully. It helps if the pet owner can tell them about any toad encounters or when symptoms started.

Supportive Tests

Sometimes, more tests are needed to understand the poisoning better. These tests can help:

  • Blood work: Checking the dog’s blood can show problems that suggest toad poisoning.
  • Radiographs: X-rays can show if there are issues like fluid in the lungs.
  • Electrocardiography (ECG): An ECG checks the heart’s electrical activity for toxin effects.

These tests help vets know more about the dog’s health. They help decide the best treatment. Still, figuring out if a dog has toad poisoning mostly comes from the symptoms and any toad exposure.

Seek Veterinary Care

If you think a toad has poisoned your dog, get vet help right away. Waiting could make things worse. Acting fast is key to dealing with toad poisoning in dogs.

Keep reading to find out how to treat toad poisoning. You’ll also learn how to stop it from happening again.

tests for toad poisoning

Treatment for Toad Poisoning

If your dog gets toad poisoning, act fast to stop more harm. First, wash out their mouth with lots of running water. This cuts down on the poison’s effects and eases symptoms. Make sure the water does not go down their throat to avoid choking.

More treatments for toad poisoning depend on the dog’s symptoms. If things get worse, they might need IV fluids to stay hydrated and support their organs. Drugs can help with vomiting and keep them from getting dehydrated. Sometimes, medicine for the heart or to stop seizures is needed. If your dog swallowed part of a toad, they might need surgery or a special procedure to get it out.

In bad cases with heart trouble, a medicine called Digibind can help. It fights the toxin’s effects on the heart and helps your dog feel better.

Supportive Care

While treating your dog, giving them extra care is key for their health. Keep an eye on them, make them comfy, and be kind. Managing pain is also crucial.

Keep watching your dog closely as they get better. Tell your vet about any new issues or if they’re not getting better. This might mean changing their treatment.


How a dog does after toad poisoning depends on how bad it was and how fast they got help. Always rush to the vet for the best chance of recovery. With the right care right away, many dogs fully recover and go back to normal.

Prognosis for Toad Poisoning

The outlook for dogs with toad poisoning varies. It depends on the toad type, where it happened, and how fast they get help. Quick cleaning and care are key for a good result.

In places like Florida, toad poisoning is a bigger risk. Here, quick help can save lives. Without fast action, a dog could die quickly from severe poisoning.

If a dog gets through the first danger and is treated right away, things usually look up. With the right care, most dogs get better and don’t have lasting problems from the poisoning.

Always take toad poisoning seriously. If you think your dog is poisoned, call a vet right away. Getting help fast betters the chance for a good recovery and cuts down risks.

outcome of toad poisoning in dogs

Factors Influencing Prognosis for Toad Poisoning in Dogs

Factor Impact
Species of toad Variability in toxicity levels among different species can affect the severity of poisoning and prognosis.
Geographical location Certain areas have a higher prevalence of toxic toad species and may pose a greater risk to dogs.
Time to care Immediate decontamination and veterinary treatment improve the chances of a positive outcome.
Severity of poisoning The extent and intensity of toxic exposure can influence the severity of symptoms and prognosis.

Contacting Pet Poison Helpline

If you think your pet has been poisoned by toxic toads, get help fast. The Pet Poison Helpline is in Minneapolis, MN. They offer advice on poison cases for all kinds of pets. Their team is ready 24/7 to support you in this emergency.

If you own a pet or work as a vet, you can call them. They know a lot about treating poisoned pets. They will tell you what to do next for your pet’s health.

The Pet Poison Helpline gives full support during the poison case. They charge a fee for each case. But, they offer help until your pet gets better. This means you always have someone to turn to.

If toxic toads or any poison has hurt your pet, the Helpline can help. Call them right away. Your pet will get the care they need quickly.

Prevention of Toad Poisoning

Toad poisoning is serious for dogs. But, dog owners can prevent it. The key is to limit their exposure to toads. It helps create a safe space for them.

First, watch your dogs closely when they’re outside. This is crucial during dawn, dusk, nighttime, and after it rains. By keeping an eye on your dog, you can stop them from meeting toads. This prevents poisoning.

Raising food and water bowls helps too. It keeps toads away from them. This step stops dogs from eating or drinking anything toxic from toads. Cutting back trees or bushes where toads hide also helps keep dogs safe.

Lastly, remove standing water from your yard. Always walk dogs on a leash at night and after it rains. This reduces toad poisoning risks. By doing these things, dog owners can keep their pets safe.


What toads are poisonous to dogs?

In the US, two toads can severely poison dogs. These are the cane toad and the Colorado River/Sonoran Desert toad.

Are toads toxic to dogs?

Yes. Some toads produce skin toxins. These are harmful to dogs if touched or eaten.

How can I identify poisonous toads?

The cane toad is quite big, 6 to 9 inches, living in warm places like Florida and Texas. The Colorado River/Sonoran Desert toad grows up to 7.5 inches. It lives in California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas.

What are the signs of toad poisoning in dogs?

Signs include drooling, red gums, vomiting, and diarrhea. Dogs might also stumble, have tremors, seizures, breathing problems, and abnormal heart rhythms.

How is toad poisoning diagnosed in dogs?

Diagnosis comes from seeing signs and knowing about toad exposure. Tests like blood work and ECG help understand the poisoning level.

What is the treatment for toad poisoning in dogs?

First, wash out the dog’s mouth with water. They might also need fluids, medicine for nausea, or care for seizures and the heart. Sometimes, surgery is needed to remove the toad.

What is the prognosis for toad poisoning in dogs?

Outcome depends on the toad type, where it happened, and getting quick help. Acting fast is key. Without it, dogs could die.

How can I contact Pet Poison Helpline?

Pet Poison Helpline is in Minneapolis, MN. They offer 24/7 advice for all pets. There’s a fee that covers follow-up calls too.

How can I prevent toad poisoning in my dog?

Keep an eye on your dog outside. Put food and water up high. Stop them from going after toads. Cut back shrubs and get rid of water that doesn’t move. Always use a leash, especially at night or after it rains.
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