Dogs are playful and curious, sometimes this curiosity gets them into situations with nasty outcomes.
Has your dog ever licked a frog?
Do not worry, it is uncommon but it can happen, and you should know what can happen when this occurs.
Why Would Dogs Lick Tree Frogs?
The very first reason, we all know this, dogs are curious creatures.
With the rains and the warmer seasons, toads and frogs come out.
To note is the green tree frog that can camouflage in the grass and other greenery.
Imagine your dog minding its own business and it sees a green flash.
It will inspect it and inspection often involves licking.
Another reason is a dog’s natural predatory instinct.
Dogs love their crinkly, squeaky toys because they resemble prey.
Well, a small tree frog would look like small prey, they would love to put it in their mouth.
But unfortunately, green tree frogs are one of the last things they should be putting in their mouths.
Signs Your Dog Has Licked a Frog
When dogs react to licking something they are not supposed to, the first place to show signs is usually the mouth.
Green tree frogs release a chemical from their parotid glands that can be toxic to your dog, and it is absorbed quite quickly from the mouth.
It induces vomiting, diarrhoea and drooling from the mouth.
But there are more signs you can look out for:
- Pawing at mouth and eyes
- Foaming at the mouth
- Head bobbing
- Dilated pupils
- Lip licking
The severity of the symptoms depends on the size of the dog and how much frog got in contact with their mouth.
What Happens Why Your Dog Licks A Green Tree Frog?
When a green tree frog is threatened it secretes a substance with a toxin caerulein that induces vomiting in dogs.
It is an evolutionary defence mechanism of most toads and frogs.
Apart from this frogs also have salmonella bacteria and can cause infections or irritation with symptoms of fever, stomach pain and diarrhoea.
Veterinarians say the symptoms last for some hours to some days, but not more than three days.
Once again this depends on the amount of chemical they ingested.
It is not usually life-threatening but with vomiting and diarrhoea there is a loss of fluids that needs to be replenished and your dog may feel some discomfort in his stomach.
How To Treat It?
You should only take this step if you are sure it is a green tree frog.
Either there is a high occurrence of green tree frogs in your area or you saw the incident happen.
If you stay in an area where there are other species of frogs or toads they could emit some more severe poisons.
It pays to be more safe than sorry.
- If you can confirm it is a green tree frog and the reaction is severe, you can call your veterinarian to advise on how to handle it. Drooling and vomiting within an hour is considered mild. Vomiting for more than one hour and any other symptoms on the list is considered severe. The Veterinarian might suggest treating the symptoms and watching your dog if it is a not too severe reaction.
- You can treat the vomiting or stomach discomfort while waiting for the symptoms to pass.
- If you find your dog just after it happens you can flush your dog’s mouth with water for 10 minutes to minimize the toxin ingested but be careful not to get them to inhale water.
How To Train Your Dog To Avoid Them?
1. You can train your dog to avoid frogs altogether if you are not willing to wait for them to learn their lesson from more than one run-in with the green tree frogs.
2. The usual ‘No’ ‘Stop’ or ‘Leave It’ commands that are meant to get your dog’s attention to stop anything they are doing should be enough to stop them from getting too close to frogs.
But this would require you to be vigilant of what your dog is doing, especially outdoors.
3. Most toads and frogs are nocturnal so do not allow your dog to wander around at night to reduce the likelihood of an encounter.
4. You can get your dog a belled collar so you can track his movements in your yard and also the sound can chase away frogs from your dog’s vicinity.
5. If you do find frogs in your backyard you can check if they are classified as pests in your area and if you can do some pest control to get rid of the frogs.