Record number of toxic toads posing threat to Florida pets

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 8:16 AM EDT
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Pet owners need to keep an eye out for Bufo Toads as they surge in numbers.

Bufo Toads are not native to Florida, but they are moving into the area by the thousands and can pose a significant threat to pets.

The toads release a toxin that when consumed by a dog, can cause seizures and possibly be deadly.

"It takes one toad to kill your dog, so it's important that you know everybody understands that these guys live here, we can just help reduce the numbers," Jeannine Tilford, who owns the toad removal company Toad Busters said.

Tilford says they are seeing more toads than ever and sadly more dog deaths.

"This year it's actually crazy. We're noticing that there's a lot more toads than usual," Tilford said. "I think partly because all these new developments are coming in out west and they're building a lot of ponds in there so it's attracting the toads."

Bufo Toads are a grayish brown color and can reach the size of a plate. However, they are poisonous at all stages of their life.

If your dog comes in contact with a toad, its best to carefully rinse your dog's mouth out. Tilford said you can also use an activated charcoal, which will bind with the toxin. Some of the warning signs are dilated eyes, heavy panting and red gums.

Some things you can do to keep your dog safe:

  • Don't walk your dog near large ponds because Bufo Toads reproduce near ponds
  • Keep your dog on a lease so you can keep an eye on them
  • Hire a toad removal company to come to your area and capture the toads. Tilford said they can also install fencing down into the ground to keep them from getting into your yard
  • Replace mulch with rocks
  • Keep landscaping 12 inches above the ground so the toads don't have somewhere to live

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