What do I do if my dog bites a frog?
Prevention is better than cure
- Not all frogs are poisonous, but the Cane Toad (pictured) is. So learn to recognize what a Cane Toad looks like.
- Cane Toads live near to water. Check your canals, swimming pool, etc., especially in the evening time, and humanely remove any frogs that you see.
- In addition to eating insects, snakes and vegetation, Cane Toads love pet food. Make sure that you do not leave bowls with dog or cat food down on the ground.
- If you live in an area with Cane Toads, you need to supervise your dog closely if it is outside.
- Put a bell on your dog’s collar to alert the frogs of his presence.
- Putting chicken wire along the bottom of your chain link fence helps to keep the frogs from getting into your yard.
- Rinse out the dog’s mouth with large amounts of water – be careful not to force water down his throat as you may drown him. Hold his head down for the water to run out.
- Gently wipe the dog’s gums to get rid of some of the poison. If the dog is having a seizure, or is in pain, he may bite, so be cautious.
- A little salted water may induce vomiting and charcoal tablets help to line the stomach.
- Call ahead to your veterinarian’s office to make sure they are available. Keep your veterinarian’s phone number near to your phone, to save time in emergencies such as this.
- If you think your dog is in shock, cover him and elevate his head to ease his breathing.
- Calmly but quickly transport your dog to your veterinarian.
What to expect
- Symptoms of poisoning may include sudden profuse salivation/foaming, vocalizing, pawing at the mouth, deep red gums, head shaking, loss of coordination or a stiff gait, difficulty breathing, diarrhoea, weakness and even seizures.
- The severity of the poisoning depends on the size of the dog and the amount of toxin absorbed into the blood stream – how much poison per pound has been ingested.
- Cane Toads are nocturnal, so most poisonings take place at night time.
- There is no specific antidote for Cane Toad toxin and treatment will consist mainly of treating the symptoms – intravenous fluids, cool-water baths for rising body temperature and drugs to steady the dog’s erratic heart beat may all be used.