Bufo toads, also known as cane toads are flocking to Florida in record numbers. Pet owners need to be alert when outside with their animal, this invasive amphibian can kill your pet in as little as 15 minutes. These toads produce a milky-white toxin known as bufotoxin that pose a significant threat to pets.
Jeannine Tilford, who owns the toad removal company Toad Busters, suggests that they’re seeing an increase in bufo toads due to the new developments and ponds that are being built. Tilford noted that because they are seeing an increase of toads around the area, sadly there are more dog deaths as a result. Pet owners should be on the look out for toads that are 6-9 inches in length, have a light-yellow or beige belly, are reddish-brown to grayish-brown in color, and do not have ridges across their head.
If your pet bites or swallows a bufo toad make sure to immediately rinse your dogs mouth out, or you can also use activated charcoal. Make sure to also wipe gums and teeth clean and get your dog to the vet as quick as you can.
If you didn’t catch your dog interacting with a bufo toad be on the lookout for these symptoms:
- Frantic or disoriented behavior
- Brick red gums
- Foaming at the mouth
When removing a bufo toad from your area, make sure you’re wearing gloves and to wash your hands thoroughly. Remove any place where a cane toad can hide or take shelter. Take preventive steps for keeping them away from your property by cutting your grass regularly, filling in any holes around structures, clear away brush piles and branches, and removing any clutter. It’s also safe step to bring outdoor pet food and water indoors at night and clean any food scraps from pet bowls or outside tables.