July 4 - 17, 2011
Bufo Toads can kill your dog BY CAROL CARIDAD
President, Paws4You Rescue A very common danger to South Florida dogs is poisoning from Bufo Marinus, the giant or cane toad. This toad produces a yellow toxin in the parotid glands; it is then released through pinhole openings in the skin. When a dog bites down on a Bufo Toad, the toxin is released and absorbed very quickly through the mucus membranes in the dog’s mouth. “Knowing what to do when your dog is first exposed to a Bufo Toad could mean the difference between your dog living and dying,” says Dr. Kate Marmesh of the Coconut Grove Animal Clinic. Symptoms of Bufo Toa poisoning include salivation, vocalizing and pawing at the mouth, dark red gums, a stiff walk and difficulty breathing. This can progress to seizures or death. The severity of the poisoning depends on the size of the dog. The smaller the dog, the more poison per pound they take in. Bufo Toads are more active in the spring and summer when it is warm and humid in Florida. They also come out at night. If your dog is poisoned by a Bufo Toad, you must act immediately. “You must stay calm,” says Dr. Maria Oliveira of South Miami Animal Clinic. “Rinse out your dog’s mouth with a hose immediately for at least five minutes.” Place the hose through the side of the mouth so the water goes from one side to
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Paws4You the other and then repeat on the other side. To prevent drowning, never put the hose directly inside the mouth or with the water going into the throat. Transport your dog to the veterinarian quickly. Remember, most poisoning incidents occur at night, so make sure you know where the closest emergency vet clinic is in relation to your home. It is very important when letting your dog outside at night to always have direct contact with him or her. You can try to avoid Bufo Toads from being attracted to your yard by picking up dog and cat food bowls off the ground. Bufo Frogs also like to lounge in water bowls so keep those inside as well. Learning to recognize and minimizing the risk is the best way to prevent your dog from being poisoned by a Bufo Toad. Knowing what to do in case of an emergency is the most important factor in helping your pet to survive.
Paws4You is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. Add your support with every purchase when you use the Paws 4 You Rescue Platinum Visa Rewards card. For more information, call 786-242-7377, follow us on twitter @paws4you, go to <paws4you.org> or come see us at any of our adoption events, including the Colonial Palms PetSmart, 13621 S. Dixie Hwy., every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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