With the weather heating up pet owners, particularly in Queensland, New South Wales and Northern Territory, need to be vigilant of unwanted guests in their gardens – cane toads.
Cane toads can kill dogs and are prolific in the summer months.
Justin Jordan from Jordan Dog Training says keeping dogs away from cane toads can be a major challenge, especially those dogs with a high prey drive.
“Dogs are often drawn to chase cane toads, and they may lick, nose-nudge or pick up cane toads in their mouth,” he said.
“When cane toads feel threatened, for example, by a dog’s unsolicited attention, they release a toxin that looks like a white sticky slime from the glands on their back,”
“This toxin will stick to your dog’s tongue and gums if they handle the toad with their mouth,”
“The rapid-acting toxin is then absorbed by the membranes in the dog’s mouth, causing symptoms ranging in severity depending upon the amount of toxin absorbed.”
Jordan shares the following tips for signs, symptoms and first aid tips.
SIGNS YOUR DOG HAS CANE TOAD POISONING
- Profuse salivation, drooling and/or frothing from the mouth
- Very red and slimy gums
- Pawing at the mouth
- Disorientation, shivers and/or tremors
- Muscle rigidity, spasms or seizures
- Very rapid heart rate and/or heart beat irregularities
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR DOG HAS CANE TOAD POISONING
It is vital to act quickly to provide first aid and veterinary attention if your pet is exposed to the toxin.
- Remove the toxin from your dog’s mouth (tongue and gums) as soon as possible. To do this, use a wet cloth to thoroughly wipe the inside of your dog’s mouth.
- Continue to rinse the dog’s mouth for 10-15 minutes with slow running hose or tap. Be cautious of the direction of water to avoid it going down the dog’s throat or into the airway.
- If your dog settles down after wiping and rinsing the mouth out, keep them confined for several house and monitor them very closely for further symptoms.
It is recommended to consult your vet or local vet emergency when any poisoning has occurred.
The situation can quickly become life threatening, requiring veterinarian monitoring and treatment with intravenous fluids and anti-seizure medication.
- Keep your dog locked inside at night, away from the threat of the cane toads.
- You may also like to try and teach your dog to stay away from cane toads altogether. It can be very effective for some dogs, but not for others.
- To not only prevent poisoning of your pet but also the natural environment and wildlife you may wish to consider eradication of the cane toads. A humane and easy way of doing this is by using a product “Hop Stop”, available at most hardware stores.
Working long hours and aren’t home to let your pets inside before its dark?
Book your pooch into Doggy Day Care to make sure there is a loving and caring sitter keeping them safe.