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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

Toad Poisoning

This was a new one for us this week – Toad Poisoning in our dog.

I was in my happy place, riding around on my riding mower when I saw Brian signaling at me. I did a U-turn and was heading over to him. He started to get really agitated, maybe even more like a pantomime and yelling at me complete with arms waving in the air. With the lawn mower running I could not hear a thing.

I finally turned off the lawmower and asked him what on earth he was yelling about. He pointed to Mocha. I looked over at her, she was running around and I did not notice much so I asked what the problem was.

He said Mocha had eaten a frog and was foaming at the mouth.

I jumped off the lawnmower and ran towards Mocha. Sure enough she was in distress, shaking her head and lots of foam running out of her mouth. I asked Brian where the frog was, and he did not know. He said that she saw the frog, grabbed it and then started shaking her head, as if she was going to kill it by shaking it.

He said there were 2 frogs and he took me to the place where the one was still there under a board. He lifted up the board and there sat this big, ugly blacky, brownie, greenish spotted frog.

I ran into the house and grabbed my phone and googled, “my dog ate a frog and is foaming at the mouth.” There are times when I swear Google simply lies, but other times where it is the most welcome friend. This was one of those times! Low and behold, it did not have frog poisoning but rather toad poisoning and it was not such an uncommon thing.

Turns out this guy was a toad, not a frog!

It explained that certain toads have these glands on their skin that if they get under stress, they secrete this milky poisonous substance as a defense.

By licking or biting one of these toads it can cause life threatening symptoms. It can happen to dogs and even to humans or anyone or things touching these toads.

The symptoms you will see in a dog who bites or licks a toad is the shaking of it’s head (Mocha was not shaking the toad, rather her head, to try to get rid of the poison), agitation, and the foaming or frothing of the mouth, drooling, heart arrhythmias, vomiting and diarrhea while sometimes vocalizing the uncomfortableness of their situation. The poison can continue on within a short period of time to seizures, convulsions and even death. Depending on the amount of poison that a dog gets into their system is key to their making a full recovery. A mild case has a great chance of a full recovery.

The usual treatment is to flush out the mouth with copious amounts of water and seek out a vet immediately.

Now we live a good distance from any vet so I was not quite sure exactly what to do but I did not want to waste a lot of time so I grabbed the dog shampoo and the garden hose, Mocha and went to work.

I gave her a bath, and using the hose, I kept going over and over to washing off her face, and running water through her mouth. You have to let the water run through to the other side, and not have the dog swallow the water or drown the poor dog when they cannot breathe!

At the same time, I gave her the ultimate shampoo massage, because I was getting wet anyways, so why not bath the dog?

Mocha must have only got a mild dose of the poison because she did not go on to have further symptoms. She was relatively quiet for the rest of the day and we kept a watch on her. But she has not had any further symptoms – thank God!

It was scary - that situation where you know you have to act quickly, but to do what? I honestly did not know if the bathing and water in the mouth was the best treatment but it was what I had, and I had prayer. I was praying the whole time because I know God shows up.

Frogs can be eaten and are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. Toads – not so much!

Some toads cause toxic reactions in humans if they ingest (eat) toads, even to the point of death. It says that humans touching toads will not usually cause anything other than allergic reactions unless it is a really poisonous toad, however washing your hands after touching a toad is imperative. Also do not put toads close to your pets, because dogs and cats and other animals can be severely affected.

Toads are poisonous in all stages of life, including tadpoles and eggs, like who knew?

Best rule of thumb in all cases is stay away from toads in all forms!

I got to thinking…. Toad poison is kind of like sin. A little bit can affect your whole body. Poor Mocha got a little bit of poison and it immediately sent reactions throughout her whole body.

We may think its just a little sin, you know, it is just a little temptation, but just like the poison of the toad, the poison of sin will cause reactions throughout our whole bodies. There is not such thing as “little sins”.

No - little white lies; no - it really does not matter; no - it is such a small thing; all sin has ramifications to all of our body. Just like a sliver, even the smallest piece of wood or a rose prickle can irritate and fester under our skin, causing our whole body to take notice of it, sin can do the exact same thing.

God does not have “degrees” of sin, all sin is equal at the foot of the cross. Jesus died for ALL sin, not just the big or little ones, ALL of it. We too need to remind ourselves that like toads, sin is something we need to plain steer ourselves away from and do not touch!

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Steve Henry
Steve Henry
Aug 02, 2023

Thanks Jane thought provoking blog. Thank God Mocha is going to be ok!


Aug 02, 2023

Wow! Thank goodness for God and Google !!! Glad that Mocha is fine. Enjoyed the Toad slime versus a little sin! We often think a little sin is not a biggie…but beware ! Thanks, Jane….😀

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