Florida pet owners wary of deadly toads after heavy rains

June 09, 2018
  • By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Recent heavy rains across Florida are good for yards and snapping droughts, but they also set up a possible lethal hazard for pets, WPLG reported.

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Toxic bufo, or cane toads, are becoming more common in south and central Florida after recent thunderstorms.

The toads expel toxic material from their glands which can cause convulsions and seizures in pets, WPTV reported.

If not treated quickly, pets can die within minutes.

“Even a small sized toad can produce a lot of toxin,” said Jeannine Tilford of Toad Busters.

On some nights, Tilford said, she captures more than 100 toads on one property.

Dogs often chase or try to "play" with cane toads; they may lick, nose-nudge or pick up cane toads in their mouth,” Tilford wrote on the Toad Busters site. “This exposes your pet to a rapid-acting toxin that is then absorbed by the membranes in the dog’s mouth, causing symptoms ranging in severity from drooling, head-shaking and crying. ... to loss of coordination, convulsions and death.”