Green Tree Frog Toxicity

 

Surprisingly this doesn’t happen very often, but we recently had a dog visit us after-hours after an encounter with a green tree frog.  The owners were very worried because they heard the frog scream (they make a lot of loud noises when being attacked), and went outside to their dog drooling excessively and vomiting profusely.  The frog was pretty much un-harmed. 

This is because when the green tree frog is stressed, it secretes a substance over the skin which is a very powerful emetic (agent that causes vomiting) to dogs.  This is a survival mechanism that green tree frogs have developed through evolution. 

Thankfully, the toxin (Caerulein), produces vomiting, diarrhoea and sometimes some depression, but signs are usually resolved within 30-60 minutes without any treatment.  This is not a toxin that will cause death of a pet.  Treatment may be warranted if the signs last any longer than this, or symptomatic treatment may help to ease the vomiting and discomfort earlier.

By the time this particular dog was presented to the clinic, the vomiting and drooling had stopped, and an injection to settle the stomach was given.  He was discharged and the owners continued to monitor him at home overnight.  The dog then recovered fully over the next couple of hours.

This is something that we may come across more with the warmer and more humid nights with frogs out and about.  While it is a very spectacular response to the toxin, we can be confident that symptomatic treatment alone will help our pets.  Please give the clinic a call if you find yourself in this situation and we can decide on the best plan of action with you.  Ph: 6884 9900 or after hours 0418 638 380.

It is important to note that this is only one cause of vomiting, so unless you have seen your dog with a frog, or hear the scream of the frog, there are many other causes of vomiting that require consultation.  Please call us for assistance.

Image sourced from: foxgully.wordpress.com