Tell me about Bufo Toads and the risks to my pet?
Bufo toads, also known as marine toads, giant toads, or cane toads, are extremely toxic and potentially lethal to our pets, so be on the lookout when walking your dogs and always carry a flashlight at night. They are unusually large for toads, usually 6-9 inches, brownish-grey in color with yellow bellies and dark spots on their backs. They are most commonly seen during their breeding season, which tends to follow the rainy months of the summer (May-October), and they reproduce in ponds, lakes, canals and ditches. They are usually encountered at night near lighted areas, as they are attracted to bugs, but can also be found during the day hiding under vegetation.
The bufo toad will not actually attack, but when approached by a curious dog (or any other perceived predator), it releases a highly toxic chemical from its glands. Contact with these secretions can result in drooling, violent head-shaking, pawing at the mouth, convulsions, seizures, and even death. If you suspect exposure, immediately wash the toxins forward out of your dog’s mouth with a hose for 7-10 minutes, pointing the dog’s head down so as not to direct the water back into the throat. Next, immediately take your dog to your veterinarian or emergency pet hospital for further care.