Lily came in to AEC after ingesting 3 blow-fish while playing at the beach. As Lily’s family brought her down immediately, she was asymptomatic; this meant that we were able to induce emesis and bring up the blow-fish before the toxin had the chance to be absorbed.

Blow-fish carry a deadly toxin called Tetrodotoxin, an extremely potent poison stored in the skin and internal organs of the fish. Tetrodotoxin continues to be poisonous even when the fish is dead- eating even a small amount can be deadly.

Blow-fish are usually seen in the summer, but they can appear anytime. They can be found at the beach or on river banks


  • Lip-licking and panting
  • Drooling, vomiting
  • Weakness, usually beginning in the rear legs continuing to the head

The pet then loses the ability to swallow and suffers breathing impairment often leading to death.

There is no antidote for this toxin- treatment is non-specific and must be prompt in order to be effective. Delayed treatment can cause complications such as pneumonia and brain and organ problems. If you suspect your pet has ingested a blow-fish, take him/her to a vet or emergency hospital immediately.