Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: *WARNING* Bufo toads a threat to pets *WARNING*

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    If You Don't Talk To Your Cat About Catnip, Who Will?

    *WARNING* Bufo toads a threat to pets *WARNING*

    Bufo toads a threat to pets
    The poisonous amphibian common to the area nearly killed a dog in Tampa. Keep pets away, vets say, but react quickly if they encounter one.
    Published June 20, 2005


    [AP photo]
    The grapefruit-sized bufo toad was introduced to Florida from South America. The poison on the toad's skin is a defense mechanism.

    [Times photo: Chris Zuppa]
    Elsie Betancourt of Tampa says it took more than a week for Melody, her 2-year-old Jack Russell terrier, to fully recover.


    Elsie Betancourt had heard there were toads poisonous enough to make dogs foam at the mouth, go into a seizure or even die.

    The Tampa resident kept an eye out for the grapefruit-sized amphibians, commonly known as bufo or marine toads. But it was Melody, her Jack Russell terrier, that found one first.

    That discovery nearly killed the 2-year-old dog.

    Her other two dogs, a golden retriever and a Labrador retriever, kept their distance and came when called, but Melody just had to take a closer look at the toad.

    "When they're focused on something, forget it," Betancourt said of Jack Russells. "They're deaf. They don't hear anything."

    Within two minutes, the 10-pound dog was foaming at the mouth. Betancourt and her sister tried to flush out the foam, and then rushed to an emergency veterinarian.

    In the car, Melody went rigid, her eyes glassy. They got to the vet just in time. Betancourt said her roommate drove like a "wild woman."

    Melody began having seizures. The veterinarians brought them under control, and by the next morning, Melody was ready to come home. It took more than a week for her to fully recover, Betancourt said.

    The quick intervention was probably what kept Melody alive. Miryam Reems, a veterinarian at Florida Veterinary Specialists, said it is essential that pet owners immediately get treatment for pets showing any symptoms of contact with a marine toad.

    The toads are common in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, but many pet owners do not know of the danger, she said.

    Aside from foaming at the mouth and seizures, symptoms include strange behavior, irregular heartbeat and either extremely high or low body temperature. Affected pets can show any combination of those.

    If a pet shows symptoms, the owner should rinse the animal's mouth out thoroughly with a hose before heading to the vet, said Jarrod Lazarus, a veterinarian at the Hillsborough Animal Clinic.

    He recommended keeping dogs tied up or inside, especially when the owner is not home, because if a dog bites a toad, the owner is "going to come home to a dog that's close to dead."

    Though small pets are most at risk from the poison the toads secrete, Reems said, most cases are not fatal. She said the toads come out every spring and summer "like clockwork."

    The poison on the toad's skin, secreted from glands, is a defense mechanism, Lazarus said. When a pet bites the toads, the toxin can affect both the heart and nervous system.

    Dogs are drawn to the toads because, well, they're dogs, he said.

    "Dogs think it's fun to chase them and basically take a bite out of them."

    The toads are an invasive species that flourish in moist environments, said John Gicking, another veterinarian at Florida Veterinary Specialists.

    The poison they secrete can be dangerous to humans but must be ingested to cause harm, Gicking said.

    He said to just leave the toads alone.

    "There's no sense in moving them because they are just going to come back," Gicking said.

    And the toads are not afraid of people.

    Gicking remembers seeing them as a kid in St. Petersburg.

    "I remember growing up, and we would have these toads jump up on our back porch," he said. "And they would actually eat the dog food out of the dog bowl.' '
    ~*~ "None left to rescue, none left to buy, none left to suffer, none left to die. None to be beaten, none to be kicked...all must be loved and all must be fixed".
    Author Unknown ~*~



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    I hail from South Carolina, but Texas is where I hang my hat :)
    I'm glad the little terrier didn't die. That's crazy, I've never encountered one, but, I've seen photos. Gross. I can't imagine seeing a toad that large in person. **shivers** They don't scare me, just kinda gross me out.
    The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. - Dr. Paul Farmer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Riding my bike somewhere...
    These things are SO creepy. I HATE them and wish they'd never come back. We had a very horrible experience with Simba and one years ago. He got very lethargic and threw up water all day. We thought it was from heat stroke but that night he broke out in HUGE hives and we had to rush him to the emergency vets. This is why I don't like leaving my dogs outside unattented. Florida sucks.... we live in Pinellas.

    Sorry.. but if these things come in my yard who knows what's going to happen to them.

    ~Kay, Athena, Ace, Kiara, Mufasa, & Alice!
    "So baby take a axe to your makeup kit
    Set ablaze the billboards and their advertisements
    Love with all your hearts and never forget
    How good it feels to be alive
    And strive for your desire"

    -rx bandits

Similar Threads

  1. ***WARNING*** 2 New Tarantulas!!! ***WARNING***
    By king2005 in forum Pet General
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-26-2010, 03:05 PM
  2. A Warning !!!!
    By wombat2u2004 in forum Dog House
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-14-2010, 02:28 PM
  3. Picture OVERLOAD! {warning, warning!}
    By Jessika in forum Dog General
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 03-04-2006, 10:21 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-01-2006, 01:51 PM
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-10-2003, 12:55 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Copyright © 2001-2013 Pet of the