Is lizard poisonous if eaten by dogs or cats?

Some lizards are way smaller than dogs and cats, just enough to fit in their mouth...

Cat eating a lizard

That raises the question: Is lizard poisonous if eaten by dogs or cats?

Well, it all depends on the species of lizard that the dog or cat has consumed. Some lizards which include skinks, toads, and geckos carry parasites with them which can kill dogs and cats. So there's a risk your cat or dog could have some health problem after eating a lizard.

Here are some guides which might help you figure out if your cat or dog is in danger due to lizard consumption.

Lizards and Parasites

The parasite that they carry with them is known as liver flukes.

These liver flukes aren't dangerous to the body of the lizard where they live but once the cat or dog eats the lizard which carries liver flukes, the parasite will then be consumed as well.

Unlike the body of the lizard which will be digested, the parasite will move to the bile duct and can cause fatal inflammation to the cat or dog. The worst things that could happen is that the bile will become toxic if it will block the bile duct causing a bile built up in the lover of the dog or cat.

If ever the dog or cat eats a lizard where a parasite is living, a yellow tinge will form in their eyes and their skin will become yellow as well. They will also lose their appetite and become sluggish. Furthermore, a swelling in the abdomen will also occur. After 12 weeks, the eggs of the parasite will be visible to the poop of the cat or the dog.

It is advised that in such cases, the dog or cat should be brought to the doctor for a diagnosis. In most cases, the dog or the cat will take Droncit for around three to five days. If not Droncit, Panacur will be given twice a day for five days. In case a liver inflammation develops, prednisone will be given.

Small Lizards

Day geckos

Cats can easily track down and eat these tiny lizards due to their size. These tiny lizards are very easy to find out since they are very common in the household.

They move fast, but the dogs and cats are faster. At times, these small lizards even fall on the floor as if they are serving themselves to the cats and dogs.

These small lizards which approximately measure around three to four inches only looks harmless considering their size. But their size does not define the risk that these little creatures bring. These small lizards can cause minor health issues to your dogs and cats but not to the point that they will be poisoned. These small lizards are not poisonous at all.

Lizards with venom

Mexican beaded lizards and Gila Monster are living on the deserted areas of the Southwestern part of the United States and Mexico.

These lizards are venomous and are way larger than house lizards which dogs and cats can easily eat. The venom of these lizards is located at the backside of their jaws.

I highly recommend you to read the article "Are lizards poisonous to cats, dogs or humans?" just to make sure you have the correct information on this types of lizards.

The venom isn't as fatal as the venom of snakes. Besides, this kind of lizards won't bite unless they are harmed if they feel threatened.

It is very rare that they will bite. If your dog or cat has been bitten by Mexican beaded lizard or Gila Monster, what you have to do is to look for any bleeding or swelling at the bitten area. The symptoms that the dog or cat will experience are a weakness, excessive salivation, low blood pressure, frequent urination, and pooping, tearing from her eyes and severe pain.

If ever your dog or cat has been bitten by a Mexican beaded lizard or Gila Monster, try to carefully remove the lizard. If you can't remove it, there are some ways you can do and better yet, bring it to the doctor even if the lizard is still attached to the dog or cat.

Lizards with Poison

Regardless of the area or place where you are living, a blue-tailed lizard and skink are probably located in your area as well.

These lizards are poisonous to whoever tries to eat them. In case your dog or cat bites or eats them, a reaction to the toxins of the skin will occur.

The symptoms that might occur if your dog or cat has bitten or eaten a blue-tailed lizard or skink is that they will vomit, drool, stagger around, and a fever might also occur. The dog or cat might also lose the appetite to eat.

Sick Puppy

Aside from blue-tailed lizard and skink, Newts and Salamanders also have the same effect once the cat or dog eats them.

They will also experience diarrhea and paralysis in worst cases. In cases like this, wash the mouth of your cat or dog with running water and take them to the vet as soon as you can.

Reptiles with Toxic Skin

There are some lizards whose skin are toxic which mean that these lizards are life-threatening to cats and dogs most especially when it has been hours since the dog or cat has been exposed to the lizard with a toxic skin.

In case a dog or cat has been exposed to such lizards, the symptoms that will be manifested include rapid-onset severe salivation, weakness, tremors, dilation of the eyes, seizures, or rapid heart rate.

If the dog or cat is only drooling, you can just simply wash its mouth with clean, running water to remove the toxin. But if the other symptoms that have been mentioned also occur, it is safer to bring the dog or the cat to the nearest veterinary clinic.

The most common lizard with such ability is Newts which look like salamanders. The potent neurotoxin that they have is known as tetrodotoxin which is located at their skin glands.

If the cat or dog will eat a lizard which has this toxin, he might experience cardiopulmonary arrest and death.

How to know if your dog is poisoned by a lizard

The most common signs that a day or cat has been poisoned include excessive drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, mouth foaming, weakness, lost appetite, lethargy, pale or yellowed gums, excessive thirst, crossed eyes, nervousness, hyperactivity, muscle tremors, coma, or seizures, or if he is walking as if he looks drunk.

Veterinarian examining cat

If some of these symptoms are showing to your dog or cat, bring him to the nearest clinic as fast as you can.

At the end of the day, the safety of your dog or cat greatly depends on how you take good care of them and how you assure that where you are placing them is safe. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your pet is safe and he won't be harmed in any means possible, not even from eating a lizard.

Harmless lizards

On the other side, most lizards post no danger to cats and dogs. Some of them are venomous or poisonous but not to the point that it will kill the dog or the cat. The dog or the cat might have a few days of sickness but he won't die unless you will allow it to happen.


Generally speaking, whether the cat or dog will be poisoned or not depends on the type of lizard that was consumed. There is nothing to worry about as dangerous or poisonous lizards are very rare most especially in urban areas.


All content in this article was created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please call a doctor or visit a hospital immediately if you have been poisoned.

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