Cane toads secrete a toxin that can be poisonous to humans. Toxins are also present in the body tissues, toad eggs and tadpoles. If the poisoning is severe, it can be toxic to your heart.

If you experience vomiting, dizziness or chest pain, call Triple Zero (000) or get someone to take you to the nearest hospital.

Have I been poisoned?

If a cane toad squirts toxin in your eyes, it may cause:

  • pain and severe irritation to your eyes
  • temporary visual disturbances.

If you've swallowed the toxin, it may affect your:

  • heart function
  • blood pressure
  • breathing.

How to treat

Toxin on the skin

  1. Remove contaminated clothing, taking care that you don’t touch the poison.
  2. Flood the skin with cool running water.
  3. Wash gently with soap and water and rinse well.

Toxin in the eye

  1. Gently flood the eye with water from a cup, jug or slowly running tap.
  2. Continue to flush for 15 minutes, holding the eyelids open.

Swallowed toxin

If you’ve swallowed the toxin, carefully clean your mouth with a toothbrush or cloth. If you feel unwell or develop vomiting, dizziness or chest pain call us on 13 11 26, or seek medical attention at a hospital.

Cane toad toxin in alternative medicines

We don’t support the use of alternate medicines that contain cane toad toxins.

Prevent contact with cane toads

You can help prevent contact by:

  • covering or bringing pet food inside at night
  • removing standing water from outside
  • clearing rubbish
  • keeping outside lights off when not needed
  • using a barrier around your yard made of a smooth solid material, at least 50 cm high and secured into the ground.

Last updated: July 2023