The Dangers of Bufo Toads to Dogs in Dunedin, FL

Sadly, there are a lot of dangers to watch out for when it comes to our loving dogs. As curious as our pups are, if they accidentally eat a bug or small animal, like a poisonous frog or toad, they can become very sick and even die.

Recently, many dog poisoning cases across the United States appeared because of Bufo toad poisonings. Keep on reading our Dunedin, FL, animal hospital‘s blog post to find out more information about these types of toads, what they look like, and how to help your dog best friend if they eat or lick one.

bufo toad dunedin, fl

What are Bufo Toads?

Bufo toads are toads that grow up to 9 inches in length. It is an extremely invasive and non-native toad to Florida and yet has been reproducing quickly. Bufo toads are also known as Cane toads or Giant toads. On this toad are large triangular parotoid glands. The back of this toad is covered in reddish-brown or orange spots, which is a tell-tale sign that the small animal you see is a Bufo toad.

Where do Bufo Toads Live?

Although Bufo toads are originally from southern Texas through Central and tropical South America, they have made Florida their new home. These gigantic toads were introduced to Florida in the 1930s as a way to fight off a growing pest control problem with mosquitos and other disease-carrying bugs. However, instead of helping with the problem, the Bufo toads continued growth in population and now are invasive.

You are likely to encounter Bufo toads during the hot summers in Florida, although they can be active any time of the year. When it rains, Bufo toads jump out of their hiding holes and homes, since the rain causes flooding. They also prefer heat, which is likely why they chose to stay in Florida conditions as they mimic South American tropical weather conditions.

Why are Bufo Toads Dangerous to Dogs?

Since these toads are everywhere, it is almost impossible to completely ignore them. While you cannot ignore them, you can still try to avoid introducing your dog to a Bufo toad. Bufo toads are dangerous because they are poisonous, especially to smaller mammals like cats and dogs. As a defense mechanism against larger creatures, Bufo toads produce a poison that secretes through their glands. It is white and almost looks like foam.

When a dog licks or ingests the poison, they get sick from the poison since it is toxic. Humans do not have to worry about the poison since it only causes skin irritation. However, you should stay away from gigantic toads and never touch your face, mouth, or eyes if you come in contact with one. Wash your hands immediately, just in case your curious puppy tries to give you a kiss.

Symptoms that Your Dog is Affected by a Bufo Toad

There are common symptoms that are tell-tale signs that your dog has accidentally ingested Bufo toad poison. If your dog suddenly reacts by throwing up, especially with blood, and there is a toad in sight it is best to assume that they tried to have a dangerous snack.

Other common symptoms to watch out for include:

  • foamy salivation
  • difficulty breathing and wheezing
  • red-colored gums,
  • stumbling and weak legs
  • seizure activity
  • an irregular heartbeat

If your dog is suddenly suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, you should transport them to an emergency vet hospital as quickly as possible. There is no antidote for the poison that these toads produce, which means that the hospital will try its best to treat the symptoms and keep your dog from dying.

What to Do if You Think Your Dog Has Been Poisoned by a Bufo Toad

Even if you are unsure if the symptoms are caused by poison, you should still take your pet to the emergency vet to be on the safe side. Without proper treatment, your dog can die from shock at high rates and in just a few hours as the poison rampages through their bodies.

While you are transporting your pet to the emergency vet for treatment, it is good to start treating the extreme symptoms. For example, vomiting. While you cannot stop your dog from vomiting blood, you can continue providing them with water to keep their internal temperature low and their bodies hydrated. Without hydration, there is a higher chance your dog will stumble, fall, and start having a seizure due to a lack of fluids and extreme heat.

Have someone else drive, as you take a cool rag and pat it onto your pet’s body. Make sure that the rag is simply cool and not ice cold. Too much cold can cause your dog to go into shock.

Seek Immediate Veterinary Help if Your Dog Has Been Poisoned by a Bufo Toad in Dunedin, FL

Overall, Bufo toads should be avoided as much as possible. The foamy white toxin they produce at the top of their heads is deadly to small mammals, like your pet dog. These cane toads are especially rampant in Florida. During Florida summers, do not leave your dog unsupervised as they play outside, especially if it has rained recently since these toads are often active during the rain.

If you believe your dog has been poisoned by a Bufo toad, please come to our Dunedin, FL, animal hospital immediately! If this happens when our animal hospital is closed, please see a nearby emergency animal hospital to go to.