Toads exude a milky white toxin mostly from poison glands behind their eyes, but elsewhere on their body as well. They squeeze this poison onto the surface of their skin when they are under threat. When treated roughly, they can even squirt the poison up to two metres.
Dogs and cats are poisoned when they mouth the toad or sometimes when the toad's poison gets into their eyes.
The toad's poison is also dangerous to humans and deaths have occurred. Some adults have even been affected when they absorbed the poison through cuts in their skin after handling a toad.
Due to its corrosive and irritant nature, the toad's venom will cause profuse salivation soon after your pet bites it. Pets affected by the irritant venom will paw their mouth due to the pain. If you see your pet drooling and distressed but haven't seen it attack a toad, look at its gums. If they are red and inflamed, toad poisoning is likely.
Vomiting often occurs, especially in cats. Cats also show hindquarter weakness and a fixed trance-like stare.
The poison can also affect the heart of dogs and cats, causing immediate cardiac arrest.
After it has mouthed a toad, it is vital that you remove all trace of the poison from your pets' teeth and gums.
Use a jet of water from a hose to remove the toxin
The water jet should be directed forward out of your pet's mouth, not down into its throat.
Rubbing the teeth and gums with a soft rag containing human toothpaste may also help to remove the toxin.