Collier Edition

The Tale of the Ugly Bufo Toad is More of a Nightmare for Pet Owners

 Ugly Bufo ToadBufo toads, also known as cane toads, were introduced to Florida back in the 1930s from Central and South America to protect our sugar cane and other crops. Bufo toads have a lethal secretion that can kill pests within minutes. That’s why they were brought here to protect farmers and plantation owners’ crops. Over the years, these pesky bug-eyed frogs have multiplied to great numbers, and when we start to get into our rainy spring and summer season, they appear in the masses. They usually come out at dusk and into the late evening hours. However, younger Bufo toads are out earlier in the day.

These invasive amphibians are not aggressive, but they have enlarged parotoid glands on their neck and shoulder areas that produces a lethal poison known as bufotoxin. This toxin is deadly to dogs and cats. If a pet comes into contact with a Bufo toad directly or in some cases indirectly, they can die within 15 minutes of exposure to bufotoxin.

These toads are becoming more and more brazen. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to see them eating out of their trash cans or enjoying food left out on the patio, including food right from a pet’s bowl. If your pet eats after a Bufo toad, bites the toad, or licks them or licks the leftover secretion of the toxin, you have to take critical initial steps to try and save your pet. If infected, pets will become erratic and panicky, their gums and tongue will become bright red and swollen; they will have frothing of the mouth and frantically paw at their face. They may also experience seizures and, ultimately, death. Bufotoxin is extremely toxic, thick and sticky.

Steps to take if your pet comes into contact with a Bufo toad:
1. Thoroughly wipe out your pet’s mouth with a wet cloth or paper towels; concentrating on the gums, teeth, tongue, and inside of the cheeks.

2. With a garden hose on gentle flow, rinse out your pet’s mouth from the side so that the water flows out the other side of their mouth and NOT down their throat. Do this for at least 10 minutes.

3. Call your veterinarian or Emergency Animal hospital.

Prevention is key:
1. Keep your pets on a short leash.
2. Walk them earlier in the afternoon, if possible.
3. Pay attention to what they are sniffing or getting into around the yard and on their walks.
4. Trim bushes back off the ground in your yard.
5. Turn off lights at night that attract insects, which inevitably attracts toads, or use bug lightbulbs or motion sensors.
6. Don’t leave food outside, as this can also attract other predators such as raccoons.

We want you to enjoy every day with your beloved pets for as long as possible, and we’re here for you to keep them well and in optimal health.

We serve a variety of pets including:
• Common Household Pets: Cats and Dogs
• Exotic Pets: Rabbits, Ferrets, Guinea Pigs,
Hamster (i.e. Pocket Pets)

Animal Oasis Veterinary Hospital in Naples offers the most up to date and progressive veterinary services for your pets. Ranging from Laser Surgery, Ultrasound, Dental Xrays, Radiology, Full Pharmacy, and In House Diagnostics, Animal Oasis Veterinary Hospital provides your pets with the necessary options for treatment.

We look forward to giving you the best customer experience. From fresh cookies, coffees, and sodas in our front lobby, to the nice, warm smiles to welcome you as you enter, and our flat screen televisions in each exam room for your enjoyment, we know you will love it here. Thanks for giving us this opportunity to earn your business.


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