Are Skinks Poisonous?

Skinks are an exotic pet, and people often wonder if they are dangerous or poisonous. They can be brightly colored, and they have a lot of small, sharp teeth. The question is, are skinks a good pet, and can they be poisonous to people?

Skinks are not poisonous to people. In fact, not one skink breed is poisonous. They can bite, although it is uncommon, and the bite doesn’t carry any venom. There are superstitions that skinks are poisonous because of their bright colors, but you don’t need to worry. They are usually a low-risk pet to have. 

Although skinks aren’t poisonous to humans, some people want to know if they are poisonous or dangerous to other animals. It is important to learn what you can about skinks before you bring one into your home. 

Make sure you’re dealing with a skink, and not a salamander.

Are Skinks Poisonous to Dogs?

Skinks are not poisonous or toxic to dogs. If your dog meets a skink and chases after it, it is likely to grab the tail. As a defense mechanism, the tails will fall off, and it might even continue to wiggle. Although people think that the blue tail of the five-lined skink is a warning that it carries toxic venom, it doesn’t. 

Dogs are intrigued by skinks because they scurry around, and they ignite the chase instinct in dogs. Dogs often eat what they catch, and they might grab a skink by the tail or the entire skink. Normally, the dog will catch it, and then eat it. 

Blue tongued skink
Yay Blue-tongued skink

Although skinks aren’t poisonous to dogs, they can make your dog sick. The skink is a reptile, and it can carry salmonella. If your dog does eat one, it can get salmonella poisoning. You will want to look for symptoms, such as lethargy, abdominal pain or cramping, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and vomiting. 

The skink could be carrying parasites such as liver flukes, but it is unlikely that this will affect your dog. If your dog eats a skink, it is likely to vomit. You can take comfort knowing that there aren’t any poisonous skinks anywhere in the world, so it won’t poison the dog.

Are Skinks Poisonous to Cats?

Similar to dogs, cats love to chase lizards. The skink is no exception, and most cats find it hard to resist. The blue tailed skink is common in many different parts of the United States, and they are around eight inches long. They have five light-colored stripes along the length of their bodies, and when they are young, they have bright blue tails. 

Although some predators can eat the skink without any problems, cats can become ill. There is disagreement about whether the skink is poisonous to cats, but they can get sick from eating one. Skinks can carry parasites that can end up inside the cat’s bile duct and cause inflammation. When this happens, the bile duct gets blocked and toxins can accumulate in the cat’s liver. 

This is called lizard poisoning syndrome, and it has symptoms such as jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. It is important to take your cat to the vet right away if it eats a skink. In fact, there are times when the cat might even need surgery. It is best to keep your cat away from skinks.

Are Skinks Poisonous to Livestock?

Skinks are not poisonous to horses, to goats, or to chickens. They aren’t even poisonous to deer. First of all, horses, goats, and deer are herbivores, and they would not eat a lizard of any kind. Even if skinks were toxic, it is unlikely that these animals would eat them or get close enough to have a problem. 

skink lizard on a rock
Yay Skink lizard on a rock

Chickens are known for eating lizards. Chickens will eat anything that moves and is small enough for them to catch. Skinks are not poisonous to chickens, and they actually provide some nutritional value. They have protein and other vitamins and minerals. Along with geckos and anoles, skinks are one of the most common lizards found in backyards. 

Why Do People Think the Skink Is Poisonous?

Some people think that skinks are poisonous because some of them have a bright blue tail and a blue tongue. Often poisonous animals are brightly colored, so some people assume that this is true of the skink. However, there are no poisonous species of skink anywhere in the world. 

Rather than being poisonous, the skink protects itself by having a tail that detaches. They will grow a tail back if it’s removed, and the predator will be left with only the tail. 

Skinks can also bite. They don’t have powerful limbs or claws, but they do have a lot of tiny, sharp teeth. They don’t start out biting; their first instinct is to flee and hide. However, if they have no other option, they will open their mouths and hiss or flick their tongues. If you or an animal comes closer, they will bite. 

Skinks range from three inches to a little more than a foot long, and smaller skinks won’t do much damage with a bite. Larger skinks can possibly break the skin, but you will know ahead of time if the skink is going to bite you. 

They normally need to be provoked. This might happen if you are handling the skink when it doesn’t want to be held. They might bite you if you stick your hand in front of their mouths. No matter what the reason, they will warn you before they bite you, so it is easy to avoid it. 

There are signs that a skink might bite you. First of all, they will hiss. This is a definite warning from any lizard, including a skink. Another warning is when they flatten their bodies. They do this to appear longer and more intimidating. They also might puff up so that they look bigger, and they will open their mouths in your direction. 

Skinks often hiss while they have their mouths open. If you see this, you might get bitten if you don’t back off. The other warning is flicking out their tongue. This shows that they are warning you, and you should leave them alone. In spite of this, skinks are not poisonous.