Search for AREN



Toad Poisoning in Pets

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 our after-hours emergency hospitals.

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.


You can read more of our specialist veterinary news and stories here.

For referring vets, please use our online referral form to submit a case enquiry.


Our Network

Animal Referral & Emergency network is the largest specialty and referral network in Australia, consisting of over 20 sites. With over 1,200 dedicated team members, including over 600 nurses and over 390 veterinarians (including specialists and registrars), we provide exceptional care for your pets. Count on us for expert medical attention and comprehensive veterinary services.