For pet owners, mosquitos are not the only things to worry about in the aftermath of rain. While toads keep the insect population in our yards low, they can pose a hazardous threat to our dogs. Toads are easy to come by after a rainy day, and their hopping and croaking manner is a major tease for playful, inquisitive dogs that enjoy hunting little critters.
The Cane Toad
While most toads aren’t toxic enough to harm your dog, there’s a species of toad that resides in Texas that’ll do more than leave a bad taste in your pup’s mouth. The Cane Toad, also known as the Sonoran Desert Toad and Colorado River Toad, appear in wet and humid places, likely after a rainstorm, and can be deadly to dogs.
They are commonly found in arid and semi-arid areas like South America, the southwestern United States and northern parts of Mexico. The Cane Toad is often seen hopping around home yards during nighttime hours. They have a distinct look. Most are large and plump with an earthy-colored or grey top. Their underbelly is typically very light in color and many have dark spots and warts throughout their bodies.
It’s important to be extra vigilant of your dog’s whereabouts if he/she is outdoors in the evening, especially after it rains. The toad’s toxin lies on the surface of the skin, so it’s easy for your dog to be exposed. If your pet picks up a toad, bites or licks one, contact Valley Animal Hospital.
The rain has been relentless in the southern states lately. Toads will undoubtedly be lurking around your yard, so it’s important to know what to watch for if your dog catches one. Foaming, irritation and inflammation at the mouth are the most common signs. If you see your dog grab a toad, immediately flush their mouth out with water and make sure he/she does not swallow the water. Rinse and rub your pup’s gums until the slimy texture is gone.
In cases where a pet’s mouth is not rinsed immediately after exposure, a dog may display the following symptoms:
- Labored breathing
If your pet is exhibiting these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention from our experienced veterinarians. In the case of toad toxin exposure, your pet may require hospitalization and treatment that includes IV fluids and medications to treat pain, seizures, fever and an abnormal heartrate.