Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Giant toads bad news for Florida dogs

Watch out for cane toads. They can cause canines considerable damage.

We humans think we've got it rough down here in Florida with the heat and the hurricanes, but there's plenty to make life difficult for our doggies too, such as alligators and fleas. The latest threat to their tranquility is the "Cane" toad, known to scientists as "bufo marinus" and generally referred to as the "giant toad."

Found weighing as much as 5 pounds, giant toads carry giant loads of venom in the large glands found along their bodies. There's enough toxin in an average giant toad to put even your large dog in peril if he gets too close. An animal can quickly become sick and could die from cardiac arrest within 15 minutes of coming into contact with the toad's toxins.

So far, cane toads have mainly been seen in South Florida, but they're an invasive species and have lately been showing up in the Tampa Bay area. Researchers expect them to continue moving around the sunshine state.

If your dog exhibits any combination of the following symptoms, he or she may have been poisoned by the venom of a giant toad and should be seen by a veterinarian immediately:

* Profuse salivation or foaming from the mouth
* Twitching
* Vomiting
* Shallow breathing
* Collapse of the hind limbs

TIP: Experts say you should flush your dog's mouth with water before dashing off to the vet's office.

You can learn more about the giant toad and ways to keep them away by checking out

Florida Exotic Species

1 comment:

Tbird said...

Found group of six cane toads in New Port Richey, Pasco County, Florida.