The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is warning Floridians to protect pets and children against cane toads, also known as marine, giant and bufo toads, which are starting to appear in Florida yards.
The toads secrete a milky white, toxic substance called a bufotoxin – it’s their defense mechanism. If a dog or cat comes in contact with the toxin by biting or sniffing the slow-moving toads, the toxins could kill them within 15 minutes without emergency treatment.
Symptoms of toad poisoning in pets include drooling, loss of coordination, head-shaking and convulsions. If poisoning is suspected, use a hose and run water in the side of the mouth for 10 minutes, taking care not to flush the toxin down the throat– but out and away. Take a towel and wipe your pet’s gums and tongue and then get your pet to the vet as soon as possible.