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.
Animals most affected
Ingestion of or contact with the amphibian.
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 features and lesions
irritation of the lips and buccal mucosae;
salivation, possible vomiting;
irritation of the conjunctivae following contact;
spontaneous remission of within a few hours;
bradycardia may occur.
encourage the animal to drink plentifully, allow unrestricted access to water,
rinse the mouth out well;
gastric demulcents if necessary;
if in contact with the eye, thorough irrigation with water.
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.