Bufo toads can be highly toxic to your pet. If your pet comes into contact with a bufo, seek immediate medical help.
First Aid for Bufo Toad Toxin
If your pet licks or otherwise takes the toad into his or her mouth, immediately rinse the mouth with a drippy wet washcloth several times to remove any toxin from the mouth. Do not use a hose to rinse the mouth as water can easily be forced into the lungs, causing more problems. Proceed to the nearest veterinary clinic or emergency clinic as time is of the essence: the smaller the pet or the larger the toad, the greater the risk of toxicity.
Do not attempt to treat this at home. Untreated, the death rate for exposure to Bufo marinus may approach 100%.
Symptoms of Bufo Toxin Exposure
Check if your pet exhibits any of the following symptoms:
- Profuse foamy salivation that looks like shaving cream
- Difficulty breathing
- Brick-red gums
- Uncoordinated staggering
- Ventricular fibrillation
Preventing Bufo Toad Exposure to Pets
To avoid attracting toads to areas with pets, do not leave pet food in open dishes in the yard as Bufos are attracted to food and water dishes and may sit in the rim long enough to leave enough toxin to make a pet ill. A cat or dog that licks or mouths a Bufo could get a hefty dose of the toad’s toxins.
Keeping your dog on a leash and well-supervised when outdoors should be sufficient to prevent Bufo toad toxicity. We suggest you carry a flashlight at night so that if the dog seems overly curious about something, you can check it out. These toads don’t attack, but a curious dog sniffing or licking the toad can get poisoned as a result.
Bufos are seen mainly during the rainy season (late May to mid-October) and most often at night, near lighted areas, as the bugs attract them. They are seen much less frequently during daylight hours but can be found hiding under vegetation.
At Fondren Pet Care Center, we see only a few cases of Bufo toad toxicity each year. By educating our clients about the potential hazards, we’ve reduced the incidence of encounters with toads. The Pet Emergency Clinic on Northlake Boulevard sees about a half dozen cases monthly, with higher rates during the rainy season.