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Do Cane Toads Poison

There’s a lot of questions about Cane Toads, including, of course, whether they are lethal to humans or not. And you should know the answer if you’re planning to get one of these amphibians soon. But don’t worry, luckily for you, we are here to inform you.

Cane Toads produce poison, which they use when they sense a threat and can kill other animals such as cats and dogs. But we’re happy to say that this poison is not a death sentence to humans. Yet, handling a Cane Toad can give you severe pain and eye irritation, so you should still be careful.

But what are the signs of Cane Toad poisoning on cats and dogs? What’s the treatment for this kind of poisoning? Scroll down to find out!

The Things You Need to Know About Cane Toad Poisoning

We repeat, though poisoning is the primary concern of most people, Cane Toads are not lethal to humans. The only way they could kill you is if you ate them. But you should still be careful if you need to handle a Cane Toad.

Touching them and rubbing your eyes could cause irritation and pain. Thus, please wash your hands before and after petting a Cane Toad. If possible, wear latex gloves to avoid direct contact with the toad’s skin.

That said, if you have other animals, you should keep them apart from Cane Toads as much as you can.  If cats, dogs, and other typical house pets lick or bite a Cane Toad, the poison could kill them.

But what if your pets get in touch with a Cane Toad in the garden? What are the signs and treatments for Cane Toad poisoning? We have the answers to all your questions below!

Frequently Asked Questions About Cane Toad Poisoning in Pets

What Are the Symptoms of Cane Toad Poisoning in Pets?

If your cat or dog is in contact with a Cane Toad’s poison, the first thing you’ll notice is excessive salivation. All the drooling appears only a few minutes after the poisoning starts.

Another early sign of Cane Toad poisoning is disorientation. Your pet may seem clumsy, could walk around in circles or stumble often. 

Then, the most worrying signs of poisoning will appear. The dog or cat could experience changes in its heart rate, body temperature, and seizures. Other symptoms of Cane Toad poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, shivers, and muscle spasms.

The symptoms lead to death in several animal species if they don’t receive treatment on time. 

What Do I Do If My Pet Is in Contact with a Cane Toad?

If your pet licked or bitten a Cane Toad, the first thing to do is wipe his mouth with a wet cloth. Make sure you use the fabric all around its gums, teeth, and tongue to remove as much as poison as possible. 

Avoid using a hose because the water could enter your pet’s lungs with poison.

While you’re doing this, don’t forget to call the vet or get someone to make the call. You’ll have to take your dog or cat to the doctor right away, but wiping its mouth can help. 

How Do I Know For Sure if My Pet Has Been in Contact with a Cane Toad?

If you didn’t see your pet interacting with a Cane Toad, the symptoms mentioned before would give you an idea. Take your pet to the vet for a professional diagnosis.

How Does a Pet Gets Diagnosed with Cane Toad Poisoning? 

Whether you know your pet’s been in contact with a Cane Toad or not, there will be a physical examination. Since there’s no official test for poisoning, doctors may order:

  • Blood tests.
  • X-rays and other radiographs
  • Electrocardiograms

What’s the Treatment for Cane Toad Poisoning in Pets?

In most cases, if the pet seems to have swallowed poison, there will be a stomach pumping. 

Other than that, the treatment will depend on the symptoms the pet’s experiencing. If there are seizures, the doctor will prescribe medication for it. The vet could also have to control the pet’s blood pressure and body temperature.

The good thing is that, afterward, your pet won’t need any extra cares. But please try to seek medical attention fast to avoid fatal consequences.

Why Do Cane Toads Produce Venom?

Cane Toads create poison to protect themselves from predators. They only use their venom in self-defense when they sense danger or a threat. 

Thus, if you don’t bother a Cane Toad, it won’t attack you. These amphibians are more likely to run from humans than to try to confront them in any way. From their perspective, we are big predators.

Should I Get a Cane Toad if I Have Other Pets?

It is not a good idea to get a Cane Toad if you already have other pets at all. As we discussed before, these toad species create a poison that could kill your other pets.

But, if you insist on having a Cane Toad and other pets, please keep them apart. Please don’t take the toad out of its tank unless it is 100% necessary. Also, don’t leave the other pets close to the toad’s container without supervision.

Are Marine and Giant Toads also Venomous?

Yes. In reality, Marine and Giant Toads are other names for Cane Toads, so they all produce venom. As we said before, the poison is not lethal to humans but can kill pets like cats and dogs. 

Are Only Adult Cane Toads Venomous?   

No. The truth is that Cane Toads have glands that can produce venom ever since they are eggs to the very end of their lives. Thus, it would be best if you always approached them with caution, no matter their age.

Can I Go Blind from Cane Toad Poisoning?

There’s proof of visual problems in humans after being in contact with Cane Toads. But these complications are temporary, and there’s no record of people going blind for good.

Still, we must emphasize the importance of washing your hands after touching a Cane Toad. Good hygiene can protect you from poisoning, pain, irritation, and visual impediments.

Where Am I More Likely to Run Into a Cane Toad?

The natural habitat of a Cane Toad is in the Southern United States and South America. That said, there are a lot of these species in Australia since 1935. 

People took Cane Toads to Australia to kill a type of beetle eating all the sugar cane at the time. This “use” is where they get the name Cane Toad.

In an unfortunate turn of events, nowadays, Cane Toads are among the plagues in this part of the planet.

These amphibians enter the “pest” category in Australia for the following reasons:

  • Their venom is lethal to pets and can harm humans (as if that’s something they could help!)
  • They are predators to honey bees Australian fauna.
  • They sometimes carry diseases that can pass on to fishes and other amphibians.

You need to know what a Cane Toad looks like to keep your pets away from them. After all, you could spot them on a morning walk with your dog or in your garden.   

How Do I Recognize a Cane Toad?

Cane Toads tend to be between 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm) big. They have warty skin that can vary from reddish-brown to dark brown or gray, with dark spots in the back. 

Cane Toads also have large, triangle-shaped parotoid glands on the shoulders, which produces the poison.

Another way to distinguish Cane Toads is by looking for the bony ridges over their eyes.

Do Cane Toads Make Good Pets?

Believe it or not, despite the venom, Cane Toads can make good pets.

If you’re careful when handling them, you’ll realize they don’t need too many special cares. Thus, whether you’ve amphibians before or not, you could try getting a pet Cane Toad.

Also, if you don’t have any other pets at your house, there’s no danger of animals dying by being in contact with a Cane Toad.

You only need to remember to not take Cane Toads out of their tank if it’s not necessary. But, if you have to, try wearing gloves and don’t make any sudden movements that could scare them. If they get nervous, they will “activate” the venom, to give it a name. 

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