Cane Toad (Bufo marinus)
Cane Toad (Bufo marinus)

Around 9 last night an email blast went out from a community member saying that a resident here was in a panic because her dog had come in contact with what she thought was a poisonous animal during their walk that night.  She said the dog had blood coming out of its nose, salivating a lot and was having trouble keeping its eyes open.  I immediately thought of the cane toad, pictured above which was in MY yard a few days ago.  These guys are nasty and are becoming a huge nuisance not only in Australia, but now in Central and South America.  Dogs are particularly prone to biting and even trying to eat these things which spells bad news…usually killing the dog.

I got online and researched the steps to take in order to flush out the mouth and any other suggestions I could find and quickly email back the owner.  I didn’t think a vet would be open at this time of night so it seemed like a grim situation unless she took action fast.  All I heard back later was a thank you for the suggestions and she’d keep them handy for future reference.  She didn’t mention if the dog was ok or not!  I emailed back and asked if it was and this morning she said she had given the dog some milk and took it to the vet and was doing fine.  Phew!  I was glad to hear that.

Let this be a lesson to anyone who has a dog…know what kind of creatures live in your neighborhood!  I was surprised she didn’t think about the cane toad.  They’re all over the place here.  I was hoping it hadn’t been a bite of a viper or that really would have been bad.  The symptoms were somewhat similar so I’m happy the dog is still alive.  Not that this pertains to most of you reading my blog, but the best thing to do in case of a cane toad encounter is to flush out the dog’s mouth with a garden hose at an angle so you don’t drown the poor thing…do it for at least 10 minutes and then get to a vet ASAP.  Call them first to let them know you’re on the way.  Try to make sure the dog doesn’t swallow the water either…I’m sure this is easier said than done.  Inducing vomiting somehow can also help, especially if they ate the toad.

UPDATE:  I just found out that the dog WAS bitten by a snake but she didn’t say what kind.  It sounds like it will survive though although I’m betting there might be some tissue damage involved since it was bitten in the mouth.  What a drag…  Well, my ‘rescue’ may not have been spot on but at least it was a good try! 😉

0 thoughts on “Animal rescue via email!

  1. Wow! Information for life! Are you dispensing gems on any topics or restricting yourself to all things dogs and cane toads.

    For example, I found a very nice spider in the shower this morning and unfortunately, it got hit with a lot of water before I could help it. After the shower and making my self a little covered up, I carefully picked the poor thing up with a tissue and set it on the railing outside to dry off. I am not sure if it survived. Was there something else I could have done? At least the poor thing will not encounter any cane toads here, which would certainly be fatal – even with a water rinse.

    1. Oh, I’m full of information on all kinds of topics involving creatures! I know you like spiders and I commend you for trying to save that one in the shower. I do the same thing. I think you did all you could for it. From what I recall (and I may be totally off on this) is that they breathe through their abdomen so a little water won’t hurt it I don’t think. I mean, they do survive when it rains outside so hopefully he’s found a new and better home out there instead of in your shower!

  2. Glad to know about cane toads and I hope they don’t come to Texas. One thing I do know is there are toad loving dogs all over the world. When living in England my little 4 pound Yorkie would spend her summer evenings catching toads. The first time it happened her eyes were glazed and she was barking at the air. I thought she was terribly ill and rushed her to the vet, paying for an after hours fee. The diagnosis? She was a drug addict! The toads she captured got her higher than a kite and she found “tripping” an irresistible pleasure. Finally she stopped picking them up with her teeth (lucky for the toads) and just licked them to get the same effect. Later I read that in California people have enjoyed the same activities for a good while; just lick a toad for the high of your life – as long as its not a cane toad!

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