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For the love of your pet: Frogs and dogs

July 21, 2011 at 2:21 a.m.


By John Beck

My dog was outside, and when I went out there, she had a frog in her mouth. I got her to let it go, but she started foaming at the mouth. I called my vet and they said it was nothing to worry about. She seems fine now, but didn't look very good when it was happening. Are there any dangers related to my dog and frogs?

We get a call about once a day when frog season hits. How can your dog resist this great toy that hops and makes noise? What a perfect play thing. The frogs we typically have here in the Victoria area are not poisonous or harmful in any way to your pets.

The reason your dog began foaming at the mouth is the exoskeleton of the frog (and the lizard as well) are bitter tasting to your pet. If the frog urinated while she was holding it in her mouth, that could contribute to the hyper salivation, too.

There is one frog that can be found in far South Texas and Florida that is poisonous. It is actually a toad that is approximately six inches in length (not including the legs). They do excrete a toxin in their skin that can cause neurologic symptoms like seizures or a drunken appearance. I have been in practice almost 30 years now and have never seen a case of this poisoning. If your pet actually consumes a frog or two, they might experience some upset stomach, vomiting or loose stool.

I want to have my pet microchipped because he always bolts out the door, and it takes a lot of time to find him and chase him down. If he is microchipped, at least I will know where he is at all times. Is microchipping a good idea?

Microchipping can be a very useful tool but has a common misconception attached to it. The microchip that is put in your pet is about the size of a grain of rice. It has a "barcode" on it that can be read by a scanner at veterinarian offices and pet shelters. It works very similarly to the checkouts at the grocery store. They do not emit a signal or have GPS tracking capability.

You cannot go to a website and find the specific location of your favorite cereal, but once you find it, the check out computer can scan it and tell you all about the name and price. Microchips help lost and found pets reunite with their appropriate owner.

If someone has found a dog and brings him to our practice, we immediately scan him for a microchip. If they have one, we can call the company that registers them and get the owners information, which brings me to another good point. If you do have your pet microchipped, but never go online to register, or call the company to give them the chip number and your personal information, the chip is useless. Some microchips have a single fee, some an annual fee. Ask me or your local veterinarian what is right for you and your pet.

Dr. John Beck has a veterinary practice at Hillcrest Animal Hospital in Victoria. Submit questions to Dr. Beck at drjohnbeck@hotmail.com.

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