BUFO TOAD POISONING

 

Legend has it that when the princess kissed the ugly frog, it turned into a handsome prince and they lived happily ever after. In truth, there is a toad (which looks like a frog, but is usually larger and more triangular in shape) that is POISONOUS and potentially deadly to your pet. These toads are very common in Florida.

 

The Bufo marinus toad is active in moist environments mostly after dusk. Their slow hopping movements attract curious dogs. When a dog mouths or bites the toad, the toad will secrete a whitish-yellow toxin from its parotid salivary glands. These glands are situated behind the toad's ears and extend to the shoulder area.  The eggs and tadpoles of Bufo Toads are also poisonous.

 

The poison is similar in effect to a massive overdose of Digitalis, a heart drug. The result of ingestion is signs of salvation to cyanosis and convulsions. The signs appear immediately after exposure. A dog or cat will die within a couple of hours if steps are not taken.  In order to save the pet's life it is essential you act fast.

 

Identifying Bufo Toads

Bufo Toads are heavily built, have short legs and no webs between their toes. Adults have a rough warty skin. Their color is tan, dull green or black, with a light underside. They have large glands behind the head that exude a poisonous milky substance when the toads are attacked.

                         

 

 

WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF EXPOSURE:

1.    Rinse out your pet's mouth with its head held down.

2.  Do not allow your pet to swallow the water.

3.  IF YOUR PET IS SEIZURING, DO NOT ATTEMP T TO WASH OUT THE MOUTH.

4.  Call the nearest emergency veterinary hospital to report the emergency.  Follow their instructions.

5.    Try to stay calm

AVOIDING TOADS

  1. Keep your pet leashed when outside.
  2. Toads often hide in bushes and other vegetation. Pull your dog away from these areas.
  3. The toads prefer developed areas, where they gather under electric lights to feed on insects
  4. Do not leave cat or dog food outside for your pets -- the toads will sit in the bowls and eat it.
  5. Bufo Toads can be removed and disposed of humanely (as recommended by the IFAS Animal Use Approval Committee) by placing them in a plastic container (or bag) in the freezer for three days and then burying the carcasses.  Be sure to wear gloves.

 

 

TOAD-PROOFING YOUR YARD

There are several ways to control the toad population in your yard. The best is probably to place a 1/8" mesh screen around the outside of your fence. The screen should be buried 4" and extend at least 20" above the ground.

 

You can also try to trap the toads with funnel traps along the fence, or by placing a 5 gallon bucket in the ground near a light. The toad is attracted to the bug, falls into the bucket, and can't climb out. Mark the buckets so you don't capture any people :>)

Eliminate, as much as possible, any fresh standing water as the toads look for fish-free water in which to breed. Cover the swimming pool and turn out pool and outside lights as much as possible

 

 

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