Toads and salamanders are the amphibians most commonly implicated in practical veterinary toxicology. In the genus Bufo, there are three European species, most important of which is Bufo calmita, the natterjack toad.


[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Dogs, cattle.


[etiology.gif] Etiology
Ingestion of or contact with the amphibian.


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Some amphibians, notably toads, have cutaneous glands (parotid glands) in their skin at the back of their heads. The glands can secrete active toxins which include irritant alkaloids (with cardiotoxic properties similar to digitalin), catecholamines and prostration, serotonin. The toxicity of each species depends upon the mix and the concentration of the toxins they produce.


[clinical.gif] Clinical features and lesions


[treatm~1.gif] Treatment


[case.gif] Case summary
Two small dogs were found playing some toads. Between 15 and 20 minutes, both dogs died, having first presented:
intractable vomiting, hyperexcitability and ataxia. Tachycardia progressing to defibrillation resulted in their death.