Florida pet owners beware. The poisonous Bufo toad, which is toxic to most animals that bite or eat them, has been appearing in record numbers around Florida areas this year.
Ever heard of a Bufo toad?
The toxic amphibian has been appearing in record numbers this year from Boca Raton to Vero Beach, and in north Florida areas, which has been alarming pet owners, WPTV reports.
The Bufo toad, also known as a cane or marine toad, is poisonous to most animals that try to bite or eat them, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
After licking or biting a Bufo toad, its toxins can kill a pet within 15 minutes without proper treatment.
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If your pet comes in contact with the toad, immediately wash toxins out of your pet’s mouth with a hose for 10 minutes without getting water directly down the throat, FWC says.
Wipe your pet’s gums and tongue with a towel to remove the toad’s milky, white toxins that can stick to their mouths. Be sure to take your furry friend to a veterinarian immediately.
Being exposed to the toxins can cause a pet to have seizures or die, and symptoms usually begin with red gums, heavy panting and dilated eyes.
Many pet owners have been keeping their dogs on leashes to help avoid contact with the dangerous toad.
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“Sometimes there are toads jumping across the sidewalk, and she’ll want to run after them, so I keep her on a close leash right by my side,” said Alexandra Boyle, a new dog mom who rescued a 4-year-old dog, said.
Areas with a lot of water or golf courses are a significant contributing factor to the increase in the toxic toads, says Jeannine Tilford, the owner of a South Florida toad removal company, Toad Busters.
“To give you an example, a week in March that we have done previously we only caught maybe 60 toads, and that same week this year we did 700 in that week,” said Tilford.
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This story has been written and syndicated across GateHouse Media Group's 22 Florida markets.