Toads Frogs and Dogs – Oh my!

marine toadAs the summer months approach, you must be made aware of a deadly threat to man’s best friend.  He lurks in the shadows of your back own back yard.  This venomous creature is called the Giant Toad, otherwise known as the Marine or Cane Toad.  Here at Daily Dog Walkers & Pet Sitters in Fort Lauderdale, we keep our clients educated on how to keep their beloved pets safe year round.  Read on to find out about this alarming danger you probably never knew existed. Toads frogs and dogs. 

The Giant Toad is found mostly in Texas and Florida.  However, he is not native to Florida and so the animals in here in Florida are more susceptible to its toxins because they are not adapted.  The Giant toad was brought to Florida in the 1960’s as a way to help reduce the insect population, particularly the Cane Beetle.  All toads have glands that secrete mild toxins that may make your dog sick if they try to bite or eat them but the summer months and times of heavy rains present the most cases of poisoning by this Giant Toad.  If you know what took look for it can mean the difference between life and death for dog. Toads frogs and dogs. 

The Giant Toad is grayish brown and has a dry, warty look.  He is larger than other toads however, baby Giant Toads pose a significant threat as well.  If you see your dog eat or bite anything that resembles a frog or toad, seek medical attention immediately.  Your dog could die within 30 minutes of poisoning by this venomous creature! If you don’t actually see your dog come in contact with the toad, here are some symptoms you can be on the lookout for: excessive drooling, difficulty breathing, crying, and pawing at the face or mouth, seizures, inflamed membranes of the mouth, unsteady movements or collapse.

If your dog exhibits the above mentioned symptoms, here’s what to do: Flush out your dog’s mouth with water to try to remove the slime, preferably using the water hose.  Be careful not to aim the hose down your dog’s throat. You don’t want him to swallow the poison and you don’t want to fill his lungs with water either.  Do this for ten minutes.  Have someone else in your household get in immediate contact with your veterinarian as you will need to get your dog treated within 30 minutes.

If your dog swallows the toad whole, call your vet as they may be able to instruct you on how to make your dog vomit with hydrogen peroxide.  Then get him directly to the veterinarian’s office for medical treatment.  Remember, time is of the essence.  Toxicity by toad venom can lead to a quick death.  Your dog’s recovery depends on your quick actions.

Death by toad toxicity is a serious matter.  Education is the first step and if you’re reading this, you’re already on the right track.  Keep in mind that these toads gravitate towards excessive moisture.  Don’t leave any source of stagnant water available as the toads may lay eggs there, this includes your dog’s water bowl.  His food bowl should not be left out as Toad frogs are omnivores and will be attracted to your dogs’ bowl.  The toad can leave enough toxins behind on your dog’s bowl that can make your dog seriously ill and die.  He does not even have to come in direct contact with your dog. Toads frogs and dogs. 

Also, these toads eat insects so turning off your porch lights and any other light sources in your front or back yard will help prevent these toads from congregating within close proximity to your home.  Again, the best deterrent is prevention and that includes closely monitoring your dog when he’s out in the yard.  If you have questions or concerns, contact your local pet sitter at Daily Dog Walkers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida or your trusted veterinarian. Toads frogs and dogs. 

Check out some images of marine toads and other poisonous toads. 

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