Last Modified on Sep 30, 2015
Preventing Toad and Frog Poisoning in Dogs
True toads (known as Bufo in Latin), lack tails and teeth, but behind their eyes are wart-like structures called parotoid glands that secrete a poisonous substance to deter predators. While the ordinary handling of toads is not dangerous and does not cause warts (contrary to enduring popular belief), bufotoxin can have a wide variety of effects and is even used as medicine in some cultures.
Poison toads can easily affect a dog or puppy exploring the yard, going on a walk in the park, or given any opportunity for a dog to lick or mouth at a toad. Bufo marinus or the cane toad of Florida can cause a severe and sudden reaction in dogs. Symptoms of toad toxin poisoning include excessive salivation, pawing at the mouth, vocalization, very red gums, stiff movements or loss of coordination, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms from a poison toad can even progress to seizures or death.
Remedies for Bufo Toad Poisoning
On this page you can find user-submitted remedies and strategies for soothing your dog in the event of a poisoning and preventing them from coming into contact with bufo toads in the first place. Some of our popular remedies include: mothballs, liquid antiseptic, benadryl, or even keeping your dog muzzled. After reading about it on Earth Clinic, let us know what you try in order to keep your dog safe from toads. Know of a remedy not yet listed here? Let us know about it here!
|Flushing Mouth With Water||3|
[YEA] I don't like killing Bufo Toads, but I don't want my curious cat getting them and being poisoned. I created a humane way to get rid of them: go out when it rains & they'll pop out from their holes. Look in corners & against house/fence walls. Ahead of time, put a half inch of ammonia in the bottom of a coffee can. Scoop them up & put in the can for a minute, then dig a hole and dump the can of dead toads into it then bury so another animal can't get them. You don't see them die/suffering and it works quickly. Good riddance & good fertilizer. Please pass it on for dog & cat owners!
Replied by Miz Rose
Replied by Terry
Casa Grande, Arizona
Replied by Connie
[YEA] We have alot of Bufo Toads in area. Our dog run is secure with plexi glass to keep critters from getting in however these toads can get through very small cracks. The best way to get rid of them is pour 1/2 to 1 cup of ammonia on them. Amonia is cheap and since they breathe through thier backs the ammonia kills them instantly. I don't like killing anything however I have a few small dogs and can't risk one of my dogs getting a hold of the bufa toad. If I see one in my dog run I have to get rid of the toad before my dog goes after one. Small dogs are at most risk however my friends large dog swallowed a bufa toad and died within 15 minutes.
If your dog gets hold of a bufa immediately take a wet cloth and wipe gums and tongue. Then turn on side and run water through the mouth. Make sure your dog does not drink the water, you must get the poison out of the dogs mouth as quick as possible. Then rush to vet.
Replied by Ray
Lehigh Acres, Florida
Replied by Tammy
Replied by Cnf
Wilton Manors, Florida
I live in Lake Worth Florida, I have two Brussell Giffons and they love to play in yard, we have alot Bufo toads here, I read all the articles they were great. I do the moth balls and I have a can of Ammonia always handy ready to spray and that really works on the spot. I don't dare let them out @ night by themself I stand on guard with my ammonia in hand. I have been lucky with my two dogs they are small breed, they see something moving and they attack. Your articles are life savers. Thank you Brenda, Molina, Shadow.
Replied by Westies
Lake Worth, Florida
Replied by Elise
Replied by Conch29
Palm Beach Gardens, Fl
Replied by Deborah
Replied by Patti
On June 22, 2009 our little Jack Russell was poisoned by a Bufo Toad. We caught her almost immediately after we saw her flipping it with her nose. Her left eye was shut. I immediately washed her head and nose with Baby Shampoo and rinsed for an extremely long time. I gave her a teaspoon of olive oil and she started throwing up volumous amounts of frothey white liquid. She started stiffening up and closed her left eye completely. We rushed her to the vet and they started an IV to push fluids. We were sent home as soon as she could walk. They gave us anti convulsants in case she started to have seizures in the night. I think that the extreme wash saved her life. We are still watching the eye to make sure that she doesn't form an ulcer from the poison. She is one lucky little dog.
[YEA] My ex, myself, and our magnificient and curious miniature australian shepherd were renting in what was "Dog Heaven". Acres and acres fenced to run in and a water reclamation system that included a series of sedimentary ponds, the largest and last full of Koi, pond vegation, and unbeknownst to us, bufos. We lived in the desert and water was scarce so even with fencing we dealt on a regular basis with mule deer (great sport for Roxy), along with vicious and deadly javelina. Needless to say she chased the deer off of the property gleefully, was not so gleefully ripped to pieces by a large javalina male and two females (treated that after throwing myself onto her and into the middle of the javelina's blood lust who would just as well kill a human as a dog (not smart). I got lucky making awful noises and they retreated. I treated this after carrying her into the house by filling and filling deep the gore holes that simply swallowed two bottles of the only thing on hand which was hydrogen peroxide and stuffed the wounds with dressing to put pressure inside hoping to stop the bleeding....yes, I know this is about bufos. The bleeding was totally stopped by morning and slowly she began to heal.
And now, the Bufo toads, One morning I went to drink my morning coffee with her while she took her morning swim, herding the koi from one end of the pond and back, something she did daily and for hours and I noticed a white film covering the enire pond. Then I looked at Roxy and could see her struggling to get on shore. By the time I had her in my arms she was convulsing with eyes rolled back. I checked her gum color for oxygen and they were very gray...all the meanwhile rubbing her everwhere trying to keep her blood flowing. Again, grabbed the only thing on hand which seemed close to appropriate, this time it was a full adult size benedryl pried her mouth open and opened the whole capsule in her mouth rubbing it into her tongue both top and bottom, on her gums thinking that from under the tongue on a human goes straight to the brain. Within just a few minutes her eyes began focusing and I began walking her just like a puppet thinking it might help keep her blood flow going, soon she began to try to walk on her own but needed help. She did show a rapid significant improvement with the benedryl, she weighs 29 to 34 lbs depending on how spoiled she is at the time. I am just sure the benedryl turned the tide. Roxy and I are moving back into this rental which was really paradise and peace for both of us so now I want to know....Exactly just how much benedryl I can give her at the max possible dosage, also does it come in a gel cap (haven't seen any) because in liquid form it would absorb much more quickly into her system.
I will definetely keep large amounts of vinegar for killing the toads and for her to drink and I very much appreaciate both this site and the information from all participants. I will also use the tub and light solution and lower the population. One more problem. It is my understanding that other frogs do not co-habitate with bufos so all of the guppies in differing stages are bufos. Roxy sticks her whole head into to the water trying to bite and catch them. Are they poisonous at this stage? During her second incident she crawled halfway from the pond headed towards the house when I found her. We went through the whole poisoning thing one more time and the benedryl once again brought her up quickly. Now I will use both prevention and cure. Bathub and lights and motor oil. I will make it my mission to lower the bufo toad population which it seems given the choices here will be a steady but doable new defense.
EC: Cross-posted to the Pets - Wounds Care page, thank you!
Replied by Irina
Replied by 20yrswflvettech
Fort Myers, Fl
Replied by Andie
Jensen Beach, Florida
Replied by Cathie
Tampa Bay Area
Replied by Deb
Hobe Sound, Fl
Replied by Suzie
I am seriously unnerved by these frogs. There are two large ones that will actually work their way up to my front door.
I take my outside cat his food and place it on the side of the house. Just went out to walk the dog and one of the frogs is square in the middle of the food with the other one nearby. The cat, thank heaven, is no where to be found.
I am nervous about spraying them with anything, but really want them gone! If food is what they are after, then would simply feeding the cat indoors eliminate the problem? My cat will rush out the door at any opportunity so I gave up long ago on making him an inside cat. He comes and goes. But I could change his eating habits if it is that simple. Something tells me they will lurk around the yard regardless of whether or not there is food available for them.
If one touched me I think I would die on the spot! I am now nervous about the dog because she is curious about them. When we are walking down the sidewalk toward the street to walk, if one of them hops the dog stops and pulls on the leash to get a better look. From what you are all posting, one encounter could be her last!
Well I guess I better at least arm myself with a spray bottle of amonia! And keep some benadryl handy as well!
I have not always had this problem. They just started showing up within the past two years. Why is there suddenly an infestation?
Replied by Wendy
Replied by Roberta
West Palm Beach, Fl
I've just moved back to S. Fla after many years away, and last night in my patio saw one of these giant toads;it was the size of a large cantelope (and not nearly as pretty); I had heard they were poisonous so immediately got online, found your wonderfully helpful site, went out this morning and bought a huge jug of ammonia, mothballs, and remembering how I used cedar bedding material in N. Ga to deter pests around the house foundation, bought a large bale of that (Kmart for that, walmart only had the small size bale). It may do as well as the mothballs, or even better, since it is the cedar smell of mothballs I suppose they don't like, and this shredded cedar bedding will be yukky for them to get on their feet. I will spread it all around the fenceline, my patio is maybe 14 x 20, so it should cover every inch of fence. I'll let you know if it's effective.
I do have a question: does their poop look like a malted milk ball? because I found one of these round brown things this morning close to where I'd seen it last night. Boy, that thing disappeared in a flash, so I hope I can chase them away from here because I doubt I could move fast enough to pour the ammonia on it, however sure will try.
Replied by Sydney
Replied by Andrea C
[WARNING!] I patrol the area with my Pellet gun. Our yorkie got in to a Bufo toad. Effect was immediate but we knew the protocol and washed his mouth & face, then headed to the emergency vet clinic. He had a bad night but survived.
[YEA] This is the second time that I have had one of my Frenchies lick or eat these toads ( by the way, they all have some form of nurotoxin) The first dog I revived 5 times on the way to the Emergency Vet. She had a 5% survival rate. Tonight (9/28) My second female Frenchie ate a small one. They go absolutely spastic trying to get the toxins out of their mouth. Both times hitting them with Benedryl help, also you need to get as much of the toxins out of their mouths(wet Cloth). She was bleeding profusely from the mouth due to a dollar shape (necrotic) circle.
It may sound cruel but I also took the hose from the sink and forced as much water into her stomach and mouth. The first was to ensure she threw up, second to clean as much of the toxin into a wet cloth. The key is whatever you do has to be quick. The first 15 mins to half hour are critical. I have not heard of the vinegar before but if it works and I will check with the VET in the morning. Please pay attention to ALL toads. Theses incidents occured in Delray Beach and Palm Harbor.
Replied by Holly
West Palm Beach, Fl
Replied by Sarah
Boynton Beach, Fl
I moved to Hawaii 7 months ago and have never heard of a Bufo Toad. I have to boston terriers about 20 to 25lbs each and luckily the 1st time I caught it right away and rinsed there mouths being sure to keep them from not swallowing the water, its hard but try your best. It worked best for me to lay them on there side so it would drain out. And if the jaw locks up I used my sons fork that has the rubber grip to prey his mouth open to get some air. And then once you get them able to move a little and breathe go to the vet if not sooner. After that the vet told me they come out at night so be careful so after 5 I NEVER let them outside I only walked them on a leash. During the day I never saw them until monday afternoon I let them out while I had people delivering my sons bed and when I went to get them less than an hour later I found one dog already dead and the other I took to the vet. He stayed 3 days and now has edema on his left side the vet said he has never seen that before but he is ok. They are litter mates so I worry about him, This has been so difficult I dont know how I am going to get through this I feel like its my fault and I know people said they didnt want to kill the toads but I will now go out of my way to do so if I see one because they killed my family member. These are no joke! Watch out and take precautions. R. I. P Monk! You were the greatest dog!
Replied by Mrsmike6
Boynton Beach, Florida
Replied by Holly
West Palm Beach, Fl
My Pit has a grudge againt the Bufo frogs we have here in Hawaii and I find it interesting that nobody seems to know they exist here too! The last two weekends in a row he has gotten ahold of one. Luckily he didn't swallow it, just shook it. He immediate began froth at the mouth, his jaw locked up. I dragged him inside and started the flushing process. It usually takes about fifteen minutes of flushing with clear water and wiping gums with a wet cloth before I can even get his jaw open to start on the inside of his mouth. I know everyone says to flush the inside, but when a pitbull locks his jaw, it takes a lot more strength than I have to open it... Luckily my Pit is a big pussycat and the only danger is that he can't control his jaws when this happens.. I have noticed when they begin to unlock, they do have a tendency to involunarily snap back shut the first several times so watch your fingers!!
[YEA] There are two forms of Bofus frog, only one is dangerous.
In my many years I have found that a garden hose and wasting the mouth of the dog, holding the head sideways, as quickly as possible is very effective in saving the dog. Also rub the mouth and gums. Once it gets into the blood stream, it will take 15 minutes or less to kill a dog or cat, generally a smaller size. Humans will get a rash or burning eyes so wash asap.
The bad one is the Bufo marinus. The Southern Toad is the smaller of the two, no larger then 3 inches and is not plump as the other is.
They are brown or gray-brown on top, sometimes with cream colored spots scattered across their backs, sides and legs. The underside is a sickly pale yellow, sometimes flecked with black. The back and legs are covered with spiny warts.
Replied by Mae
San Ramon, Costa Rica
Replied by Valerie
Port Saint Lucie, Fl
[YEA] In Hawaii and at night, the Bufo Toads rule the garden. When the garden contains several koi ponds, you better believe the toads are in residence. My large rotti/lab mix has gotten in the habit of hunting these poisonous critters. By habit, I mean she is addicted to the "high" she gets when she bites into one of these creatures. I've taken to flushing out her mouth with water using the garden hose when she approaches me and is frothing at the mouth. Eyes glazed, rolling on the lawn, and snorting, she appears to be having a grand old time. The only way I can prevent her from indulging in this toad sport is to tie her up or keep her in the house at night. The toads are an asset in the garden as they keep the centipede population in check as both creatures are nocturnal. We are learning to co-exist and I am lucky my dog weighs over 100 lbs and is only mildly affected by this toad venom.
Bufo toads-BLEACH. WORKS. Spraying vinegar or bleach or anything else on them does Not. To kill these deadly poisonous toads either shoot them or catch them and put them in a bucket with bleach. They die instantly. Running over them with a golf cart, or even my car, did not kill them! Online it says they lay 30,000 eggs every other day. Killing one toad a week is not helping.
So far there is not a suitable pesticide to rid us of these venomous creatures that were imported from Australia to Hawaii and South Florida to help the sugar cane owners rid their cane fields of their own pests to protect their profits. Problem is the toads took over and have become a (VERY DEADLY) pest to All of us. The sugarcane owners should be held responsible for this scourge. They should be held responsible to financially support science to find a 'cure' that will rid us of this deadly toad. This toad has the potential to eventually be in all warm weather states killing our pets. Similiar to the Lyme tick. The 'new' tick that was thought to only infect animals until it was finally discovered it infected humans. Who knew about this poisonous debilitating tick 25 yrs ago. Now it is rampant in Every single state, not just Lyme, Connecticut where it started.
To try to rid our areas of as many toads as I can, I went to Wal-Mart and was in line purchasing a BB air gun. In line next to me were 7 others. They all were purchasing various guns. We looked at each other and all said almost at the same time... "Toads. " All 7 of us were trying to protect our pets from horrific, painful and drawn out death because sugar cane owners brought in these deadly creatures. Snakes, birds of prey like hawks, normal animals that might eat frogs, do not touch these toads. They somehow know better. Our house pets do not.
My golden retriever has touched( not even eaten) a toad with his nose and been poisoned. All 4 times I was right there with him. Once he was even on a leash. In the yard the toads look like a leaf or piece of bark. All 4 times the toads were very small-2-3 inches. (I have killed them bigger than my entire hand including my fingers). I put the hose sideways in his mouth and stood straddling him so I could force his head down. You do Not want any water to get into his lungs and get pneumonia. I rinsed his mouth and rub his gums, insides of cheeks, tongue with a wet rag many times also. I hosed him 15 minutes minimum each time. Then rushed to vet. One time I thought I got it all, only to find him foaming again in the car. Luckily the nightime vet clinic is nearby.
One day, hopefully in the very near future, we will get some big-time help from one of the chemical companies that have the funds to research a cure for this problem. It is already an epidemic in Australia and will be one here in South Florida soon.
I think a concerted move should be made by concerned citizens to our legislators to lobby the chemical companies for help to protect our pets.
My friends call me the 'toad vigilante'. So be it. Toads or my dogs? Toads are winning now. Let's end this war.
Replied by Dan
Replied by Geena
Royal Palm Beach, Fl
Replied by Paul
Fort Myers, Florida
Replied by Nanci