For those dog owners who don’t happen to live in Southern Florida or Colorado, you can be excused for not being familiar with what a “Bufo Toad” is. That said however, if you do happen to live where one of these particular species of frogs do happen to live, you want to be sure that you fully understand what “kind” of risk they pose to your pet and be sure you can recognize the symptoms they can cause if your dog (or cat) is exposed to their venom.
This is because the Bufo Toad can be very poisonous to your pet and cause the condition known as Bufo Toad envenomation.
So, what is a Bufo Toad? And how can it hurt my dog?
Now because the vast majority of Bufo Toad envenomation cases will originate out of Southern Florida, we want to spend the remained of this article explicitly focusing on the Giant Toad, Marine Toad or Cane Toad as it is known in Florida especially because the symptoms, prevention and treatment of both Southern Florida’s Bufo toads is very similar to the symptoms, prevent and treatment of Colorado’s version (Bufo Alvarius).
Southern Florida’s Bufo Toad Invasion
The Bufo Toad is one of the largest species of toads found in Florida and became a resident in Florida when it was first released into the wild to help the sugar cane industry combat “white grub larvae” infestations that were damaging crops (thus the name Cane Toads).
However, they didn’t…
They established themselves in the environment until they were accidentally released by a pet store in 1955. Only then were these veracious eaters able to grow in numbers and become a permanent fixture in Southern Florida.
What makes them so difficult to deal with is that these amphibians are perfectly adapted to thrive in Southern Florida’s waterways. Because they can pretty much eat just about anything they can fit down their throat, they can nearly survive in any situation throughout the southern state.
Bufo Toads have been known to eat just about any kind of insect including:
- Honey bees,
They have also grown a taste for household scraps, garbage and pet food!
And here lies the problem…
You see, these toads are not particularly fast or “stealthy.” So instead of using speed or camouflage to protect themselves, they use to secrete a highly toxic milky venom from their parotoid glands when attacked. So, when your beloved pet stumbles across one in the backyard or while on a walk, even a simple “nose” inspection of this quirky fellow could result in nasty poisoning that could land your loved one in a pet hospital!
Symptoms of Bufo Toad Envenomation
Symptoms of Bufo Toad envenomation can vary significantly depending on how much of a “dose” was administered to the affected dog. However, regardless of how large of a dose your dog may receive, symptoms will generally occur within minutes of contact which means that you may or may not have enough time to react!
Common symptoms of poisoning can include:
- Hyper salivating,
- Irritation of the mouth, gums and airways,
- Tremors and or loss of balance,
- Abnormal heart rate,
- Etc, etc…
Treatment options will largely be determined by how much of a dose of poisoning the patient received and the patient’s current situation. However, one of the first things you’ll want to do is try to “rinse out” any visible venom in the dog’s mouth. This can be done using a hose so that a constant stream of water flushes out whatever nastiness is still in your pet’s mouth.
Regardless of how well your dog may be doing, it’s always essential to take your dog to see a veterinarian immediately so that a professional can examine them. After all, exposure to a Bufo Toads’ toxic venom is no joke, so even minor exposures should be treated very seriously.
Now, we usually like to remind our readers that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not medical professionals, and we’re certainly not veterinarians. We are all a bunch of folks passionate about animals and want to ensure that anyone considering adopting an animal anytime soon fully understands how serious that commitment is!
This is why…
We like to write articles like this one about suffering from Bufo Toad poisoning so that folks can appreciate all of the potential issues that their dog (or cat) may have in the future and understand that, in addition to caring for their loved one, they may also be required to have to pay such severe vet bills for some totally off the wall illness or injuries!
It’s also why we like to encourage anyone who is thinking about adopting a new pet to take a moment at least and see what a pet insurance policy might cost you so that if your pet does suffer from some illness or injury, you won’t have to burden the cost of their care on your own. Instead, you can use your insurance to help mitigate your expenses!