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Old 05-16-2013, 04:07 AM
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Default What if my cat eats my frog?

Can captive bred dart frogs contain enough poison to warrant a trip to the vet if a cat or dog eats one?

I once thought all of the toxins of all poison frogs are accumulated from their wild diet, but Poison Frogs: Biology, Species & Captive Husbandry paints a vaguer picture, that perhaps some species can produce some toxins:

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...apparently not all poisons are acquired and accumulated via the prey alone. For some species of Dendrobates it could be shown that certain pumiliotoxin as well as decahydroquinoline may be hydroxylized by the frogs themselves.
There's a thread here (without an end to the story) about a cat that got seriously ill after eating a ventrimaculata: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/gen...frogs-cat.html

Do you have an anecdote or study that speaks to whether a cat or dog can be killed or gravely sickened by a dart frog? Is it prudent or unnecessary to take a pet to the vet if they've come in contact with or eaten a frog?
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:39 AM
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Default Re: What if my cat eats my frog?

I would imagine that the toxins naturally produced by a dart frog would only be a deterrent versus a dart frog with the alkaloid diet that allows it to produce its stronger poison.

I would take the cat to the vet as a precaution but I think the worst side effect as noted would be vomiting.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: What if my cat eats my frog?

If your dendrobatid is captive bred, then it should not contain alkaloid toxins. There are a few frogs that can "upconvert" (e.g., pumiliotoxin to allopumilitoxin) but no dendrobatid is known to produce any toxins de novo.

Of the five families of poison frogs with alkaloid toxins, only one genus is known to synthesize toxins de novo, Psuedophryne from Australia if memory serves.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: What if my cat eats my frog?

I doubt poison/toxins would be a problem.
A more likely scenario would be that the animal contracts salmonella or some other nasty that the frog has within them.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: What if my cat eats my frog?

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Originally Posted by easternversant View Post
If your dendrobatid is captive bred, then it should not contain alkaloid toxins. There are a few frogs that can "upconvert" (e.g., pumiliotoxin to allopumilitoxin) but no dendrobatid is known to produce any toxins de novo.

Of the five families of poison frogs with alkaloid toxins, only one genus is known to synthesize toxins de novo, Psuedophryne from Australia if memory serves.
While they should lack the alkaloid toxins... they can also contain peptides that can have strong toxic responses if ingested.....

Given the time lag... from the original post to now, I suspect you would know if the cat was having issues.... See this thread for discussion http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beg...y-level-3.html

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Old 05-20-2013, 04:32 AM
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Thanks. There was no actual event, just wanted to be prepared for something I hope never happens
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: What if my cat eats my frog?

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Originally Posted by shockingelk View Post
Thanks. There was no actual event, just wanted to be prepared for something I hope never happens
But...
If it eats a firebellied toad, or California rough skinned newt....it might be screwed. Basically my point is if you keep some stuff (sometimes very common stuff) other then darts there might be more of a risk.
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Last edited by Dendro Dave; 05-20-2013 at 08:46 AM.
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