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.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR DOG IS POISONED BY BUFO
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.
2. JUMP IN THE CAR WITH YOUR DOG AND GET TO A VET ASAP! DON’T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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.