You may be seeing more and more toads around your neighborhood and if you're a pet owner, specifically dogs, you know that our pups love to chase after them.
However, these toads can be DEADLY if you're pet comes in contact with them. Cane toads (also referred to as Bufo Toads) are an invasive species to Florida and wreak havoc on our native creatures and our pets.
The toads release a bufotoxin which is deadly to CATS AND DOGS if they bite, sniff, or lick the creature. The toxin is a milky substance that can also be dangerous to humans if they do not wear gloves when removing the toad.
These toads look very similar to the native and harmless southern toad so it is important to know which one your pet came in contact with. The bufo toad is much larger. If the toad is more than 4 inches, it is toxic.
Symptoms you should look for if you suspect your pet came in contact with a bufo toad:
- -Frantic or disoriented behavior
- -Brick red gums
- -Foaming at the mouth
If you see these symptoms, you need to act quickly.
Use a hose to wash the toxins out of your pets mouth. Spray the hose forward in order to not send water and the toxins further down their throat. Continue washing their mouth out for 10 minutes.
Then wipe their gums and tongue down with a towel to remove the rest of the toxins.
Lastly, get your pet to the vet ASAP. Pets can become very sick and die in just 15 minutes if not treated properly.
How to prevent getting the toads in your yard:
The FWC recommends these steps to make your home less attractive to the toads.
-Keep your grass cut short
-Fill in holes where toads may burrow
-Clear away brush piles and debris
-Do not feed your pets outside as their food may attract toads.
What to do if you find a bufo toad in your yard:
The FWC says homeowners can kill the invasive species if they find one on their property. HOWEVER, they do have to make sure it is a bufo toad and not a southern toad. The state's anti-cruelty law also applies so homeowners may not torture the animal.
The FWC provides this as a humane way to kill the toad. The humane way to terminate the toads is to apply a small dab of Orajel or a similar numbing agent on it while wearing latex or rubber gloves. After a few minutes, place them in a plastic bag and freeze them for 48 hours. Then dispose of them.
You also may be able to hire a pest control specialist or landscape company to remove of the toads.
Ultimately, we just want all of our listeners to keep their pets safe, happy, and healthy. Don't let these invasive creatures ruin that. For more information on the cane toads, click here.
Source: Click Orlando
Photo: Getty Images