Emergency first aid for a pet with toad poisoning

Queensland’s intense rainy season has seen an influx of toads this summer and an increased number of pets in our 24 hour emergency hospital with toad toxicity.

Venom is located in a toad’s salivary glands and causes local irritation to the mouth and gums of pets, resulting in bright red gums, drooling, retching and vomiting. In severe cases, dogs can experience blindness, collapse, seizures, heart rhythm abnormalities and even death.

If you suspect your pet has come in contact with a toad we recommend immediate first aid at home followed by a trip to your local vet or emergency department if they show any of the above symptoms.

To apply first aid at home you:

  • Use a damp cloth to wipe the tongue and gums thoroughly and remove any residual venom
  • Rinse the cloth in-between wipes
  • Don’t hose inside a pet’s mouth as it may cause accidental inhalation of water and signs of pneumonia or even water toxicity
  • Gain emergency veterinary attention in an animal showing symptoms, as problems with the heart and neurological systems can progress rapidly.

If you have any doubts, please contact your local vet or after hours our ARH emergency hospital on (07) 3172 0593.

Hamish and Penny’s story

Hamish and Penny were playing and digging holes in the backyard when they encountered a toad. Thankfully Penny’s owners performed timely and amazing first aid at home which saved her from developing toad toxicity signs as severe as her brother, Hamish.

Unfortunately, Hamish was rushed to our 24 hour emergency hospital seizuring and drooling profusely.

His airway was secured and he required emergency medications to control his seizures and reduce swelling on his brain. His cardiovascular and central nervous systems were closely monitored during his overnight hospital stay.

Hamish took 12 hours to recover and was sent home his usual happy mischievous self ready to finish off his weekend with his partner in crime.


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