Poisonous Bufo Toads Can Kill Your Dog

Bufo Toads (also known as Giant Toads, Cane Toads and scientifically, Bufo marinus) are a major threat to dogs in South Florida. An invasive species, these Giant Toads are highly toxic to animals and cause death 100% of the time if the animal comes into contact with poison or if not treated instantly. Tonight, I read an article about a puppy who died from licking a toad. Read it here.

I live on a lake and we have toads in the backyard on a nightly basis, especially when it rains. My dog, Harley, was almost killed by a Bufo two years ago and it was the scariest experience of my life. Thankfully, I previously read an article about them and knew we didn’t have much time. A dog can die 5-10 minutes after coming into contact with the poisonous secretions on their side glands. My vet told me they like pet food and will climb into bowls left outside; later when the dog comes into contact with the bowl and poison, he dies. Bottom line, if there are Bufo toads in your yard, never leave bowls out and watch your animals ALL THE TIME!!! If a dog is poisoned, they need to be rushed to the vet immediately. You can rinse the gums with running water from a hose to reduce the toxins.
Harley started drooling, his eyes rolled back in his head and his whole body was shaking and convulsing. He foamed at the mouth and had no control of his motor functions. This happened less than a minute after we came inside from our nighttime potty break. I wasted no time and drove like hell to the emergency vet. I told them my suspicions and they started treatment immediately, ultimately saving his life. After two days at the hospital, I got to take him home. Many dogs are not as lucky.

1. Take hose and rinse pet’s gums with running water. It’s easiest if the dog is laying down and the hose is continuously pumping water in and out.
3. Call the vet on your way there and inform them of the situation. Inform them your dog needs to be seen ASAP and needs lots of fluids to flush out poison.
*If you live far from a vet, you can also feed one teaspoon olive oil to induce vomiting to buy some time.

Florida Wildlife Extension at UF has a great article with in depth information about the Bufo toad, symptoms of Bufo poisoning, and how to properly identify one. Here’s the website.

Click here to learn how to trap, deter and eliminate Bufo Toads on your property.

Here’s a baby Bufo Toad in my backyard in Miami, FL. Bufos have large glands on the sides of their bodies. They have no ridges on their heads and usually, dark spots on their bodies.

Unlike the Southern Toad (not poisonous), the Bufo Toad has very large glands that angle downward.

bufo toad, toad, poisonous toad

Bufos will come on your porch and drink water or eat pet food from your dog’s bowl. Do not leave these out, as if a toad touches it and a dog comes in contact later, it can still poison them.

Harley reminds you to Beware of Bufos!!!!


16 responses to “Poisonous Bufo Toads Can Kill Your Dog

  1. I’m glad we don’t have those toads in Arizona. I just have to keep Bongo away from rattlesnakes, javelina, and coyotes.

  2. Coyotes are terrifying…sounds equally as bad as bufos, pythons, and alligators here in South Florida LOL!

  3. Deanna, your girl Brandy (Schnauzer) and Patrick (Wheaten) and Ace (Malti Poo) have Coyotes, Bears and Alligators in their yards. No pythons or bufos thankfully but we are always vigilant. Remind your readers that over weight schnauzers can get diabetes just like Brandy. Be sure to exercise them and keep their weight in check.

  4. When Brandy Girl got diabetes she became toxic especially her liver. She almost died and is still not out of the woods. Her brothers, Ace and Patrick, seemed to understand how sick she was so they allowed her the pick of the puppy beds, the best bowl of dog food and never neglected respectfully sniffing her when we put her down. She had to be carried everywhere as she was too weak to walk. They knew she was not well.

  5. Oh yes, research the value of home made foods vs commercial foods that contain things we would not want our babies to consume.

  6. So this amphibian does NOT turn into a prince when kissed. Noted!

  7. Is this Bufo marinus, the cane toad? That’s an invasive species here in Australia and has wiped out many native animals in its march across the country from Queensland, where it was introduced. I used to work with crocodiles and there have been dead fresh water crocs found with cane toads in their mouths – they are so toxic that they haven’t even gotten as far as swallowing them. They arrived in Darwin a couple of years ago and since then we have been trying (with some success) to control their numbers – we have a dry season, so we can reduce numbers then through ‘toad busts’ and toad fences. We also have a thing called ‘Hop Stop’ which you can spray on the toads and it kills them humanely. I’ve toad proofed my garden as well as I can but they still get in under the gate. I’ve found 3 or 4 in the last week. The good news is that their toxicity reduces quickly after they die; Flo has appeared out of the bush with dead toads in her mouth and has suffered no ill effects. They also make great fertilizer in the garden. 🙂

  8. This is indeed a Bufo marinus- they are invasive– story is that a truck container carrying hundreds crashed in the 60’s and they’ve thrived in South Florida ever since. They have completely taken over and we are terrified for our dogs’ safety. I heard the problem is big in Australia, too. Did you know they were introduced on purpose to control the beetle population killing sugar cane crops? That is absolutely wild about the crocs although it doesn’t surprise me. I wish we had Hop Stop- I’m going to look into that! Great info about the fertilizer; now we can recycle them instead of burying 🙂 Good luck to you in controlling your yard…it’s an everyday battle for us!

  9. Pingback: Trap and Eliminate Bufo Marinus Toads | For The Love of My Dogs

  10. Surasak Longsomboon

    My dog just died two days ago from this toxic toad. I live in South Miami for
    20 years. On Saturday night, I let my dogs to go out for 5 minute in the backyard, one of them came back the other didn’t, I went looking for him and found him laying unconscious with foam coming from his mouth, I took him to emergency vet but it was too late.I think he died in less than 10 minutes after contact with this Cane Toad.
    Yes, Cane Toads can kill dogs, cats or your pets. If you live in Florida, be
    very careful letting your dogs out at night in your back yard or anywhere.
    I have learn painful lesson and felt guilty about the whole situation. I knew
    about this toad but didn’t think that I will have them in my backyard but I
    was completely wrong. I have lost my love one, he was only 7 years old and I miss him terribly, I can’t cope with the lost at this point. I cry when I
    watch movies or pictures of him. It is costly lesson. Be careful with Cane Toad in your backyard, it is everywhere in Florida.

  11. We have these in Hawaii too, they were imported in 1932 to control pests in the cane fields.

    Unfortunately my Morkie died on 3/9/14 in Maui in less than an hour of encountering a Bufo, even though I washed her mouth out and rushed to the vet. I am devastated to lose my little 5 yr. old girl, and am out to kill every toad I see.

  12. Pingback: Meika is gone, I am beyond devastated - Page 10 - YorkieTalk.com Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community

  13. just lost my jack Russell last night to one of these. killed him in minutes…I am gonna kill everyone of them I see. not humanely neither…. pouring bleach on everyone of these bastards…….

  14. That just happen to me but it was yesterday and it was the same breed of toad luckily I have not seen an side affects

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