Toad poisoning in dogs is more common than you think. And because Labradors are adventurous, it common for them to encounter one – or even catch it with their mouth.
As natural predators, it is normal for your Labrador to try catching these amphibians. But there is a problem, some species of toads can be poisonous and could easily kill your Labrador.
Poisonous Toads That Can Kill Your Labrador
Toads – no matter what the type – secret mucus that makes them taste repulsive to predators. But some toads are poisonous. In the United States, the most common toads that poison dogs are: the Bufo alvarius, which is also known as the Colorado River Toad, and the Bufo marinus, also known as Marine or Cane Toad. The toxins these poisonous toads secrete are produced by glands in the skin. These toxins contain an agent that is similar to dixogin, a heart medication. Oral exposure to the Bufo marinus can result to a speedy death – even as fast as 15 minutes.
Since Labradors and other dogs love to play with things using their mouth, they mostly get exposed to the toxin orally. However, the toxin may also be absorbed through broken or wounded skin. Dogs may not only get poisoned through direct contact as there have been reports of toad toxicities sitting in pet water bowls.
Signs of Toad Poisoning
A dog who has been in physical or oral contact with a poisonous toad may show some or all of the following symptoms:
- Head Shaking,
- Pawing of the Mouth,
- Reddish Mucus Membranes,
- And Being Vocal.
In severe cases, the affected dog may have heart rhythm disorders that can cause seizures, apparent blindness, collapse, and death.
What to Do If You Suspect Your Labrador Has Been In Contact With a Poisonous Toad
In case you think your Labrador has played or has been in contact with a poisonous toad, you must act immediately. Wash your Labrador’s mouth by hosing down large amounts of water. Then, take your Labrador to the veterinarian as fast as you can.
At the Vet’s
Once at the clinic, the attending veterinarian will check your Labrador’s oral cavity and other exposed parts to rinse them with large amounts of water. Anesthesia may be used so that the vet will be able to wash the entire mouth and throat thoroughly. The veterinarian may also use activated charcoal to help get rid of the toxin.
Your Labrador will then be monitored with an electrocardiogram and treated if there are abnormalities in his or her heart rhythm. IV fluids will be administered to help keep your Labrador hydrated. Other medicines may be given to control any seizures and drooling.