The Terrible Toxic Toad

While paging through my comprehensive dog care book looking for treatments for Buddy’s open sore, I came across something dreadfully alarming—especially alarming for my friends in Florida, and me, as I tend to spend a good deal of time there lately.

Apparently Florida is home to a Toxic creature called the Bufo Toad.  I cannot believe I’ve spent what amounts to about a years-worth of time in the Sunshine state and this is the first I’ve heard of it.  They are extremely common.  Actually, they live in other areas as well, but the Florida ones are particularly dangerous.

The Bufo toad moves very slowly; so slow that most dogs or cats could easily catch one in their mouth.   At first this may seem funny and cute to see, but unfortunately if it were to happen, your pet could easily die in a matter of minutes.

The toad has salivary glands on the back of its neck that look like warts, and they will release a poison into your pets mouth that will instantly absorb into its system through its mouth and stomach lining, and at first will cause heart irregularities.

Then, your pet will start to drool profusely, and become unable to stand up, losing coordination and shaking its head.  Its heart rate and breathing will become rapid, and soon it will collapse into convulsions.  Death can occur within 15 minutes.

Holy Hanna.  Right?Bufo

So what can you do?  There are only two things you can do, and it’s imperative you do them immediately once you see your pet has had hold of the toad.

  1. Immediately grab your pet, wrap your arm around the head and hold it, pointed down, and rinse out its mouth thoroughly—I mean thoroughly—with a hose, taking care not to ever tip the animals head back, or water will go down its breathing tubes, potentially causing it to drown.
  2. Get your pet to the nearest veterinarian’s office immediately. Time is of the essence, so don’t try to call for an appointment. Just rush your pet in to the nearest office–we are talking ‘911’ style. Tell them what happened. They will need to administer intravenous drugs to try correct the heart irregularities, and they will be racing against time. Survival is not guaranteed.

Make sure you keep a close eye on all creatures moving across the ground when you have your dog or cat outside. If you walk your dog at night, make sure you keep them on a short leash so you can see what they see. Think twice about letting your cat out to prowl in the dark, that’s when the Bufo Toad likes to be out too.

So now you know what I know. Always keep it in mind, doing so may be saving your pet from The Terrible Toxic Bufo Toad. Please feel free to share this information with others. I’d love to hear if you’ve had any experiences with this terrible toad!


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