Those little creatures announce their toxicity very loudly with their bright yellow color, but not every dog will understand this message and some will only care about hunting or playing with the salamander. We should really try our best to stop it from doing that, because it can lead to some very serious health issues, even death. If the salamander feels threatened, it will defend itself with a very potent alkaloid toxin, samandarin, which disrupts dog’s nervous system even in a very small dose.
When a dog takes a salamander into its mouth or even bites it, poison immediately goes into the body through the oral mucosa and causes clinical signs within minutes. These are restlessness, tremors, salivation, rapid breathing, vomiting, respiratory distress and uncontrollable muscle spasms. The intensity of the signs depends on the exposure to the poison, the body weight and fitness of the dog and its overall health. Dogs can die from asphyxiation within minutes or hours.
If this happens to your dog, immediately rinse its mouth with plenty of water and seek veterinary help. But because there is no specific medicine or antidote, it may be unsuccessful. Therefore, it is best to keep our dogs under control, especially during rainy periods when fire salamanders are also active during the day.
How does the salamander toxin affect humans?
If we are not allergic to it, it is not especially dangerous. However, if we are exposed to salamander, it is advisable to wash our hands, because it can cause some irritation and swelling.