Tuesday's Tips from our Doctors!
Recently our Doctors asked how they could share some facts about the common (and not so common) things that can effect the health of our pets in S. Florida. This is what we can up with. Be on the look out for more Tips from our Doctors and be sure to let us know what other things you would like to know about!
As pet owners we are concerned about the health of our pets. Even with the best of care there are risks to pet ownership. One concern, commonly seen in tropical and subtropical regions of the United States and the Caribbean, is toad toxicity and is a common issue in which veterinarians deal with on a regular basis.
Florida ranks the highest in toad toxicity cases in the United States. In California, Texas, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean cases are frequently seen. Heat and rain are perfect factors for toads to reproduce. Oral contact of cats and dogs with the Bufo species toads has been describe as the main cause of toad toxicity. This occurs when a dog or cat attacks a toad. As a defense mechanism the attacked toad produce toxic milky substances from glands in the skin. These substances affects the heart and nerve function and can be hallucinogens.
An affected animal might show signs of excessive salivation, pawing at the mouth, constantly shaking its head, trembling, increased respiratory rate, loss of balance, and seizures. Toad toxicity is considered an emergency. 20 to 100 percent die if appropriate veterinary care is not provided in a timely manner. Severity depends on the amount of toxin ingested, the species of toad, the accessibility of veterinary care and each animal's susceptibility to the toxins.
The best option is prevention. Before letting your animal go outside, owners should verify that there are no toads in the yard, especially after a rainy day. If possible, owners should not allow standing wander to form because eggs and tadpoles are considered toxic as well. Most importantly dogs should be supervised whenever they are outside.
In case of exposure, owners should wash their pet's mouth with water for 5 minutes, if the event is recent and the animal is alert. Then they should take the animal to the hospital for veterinary care. If the animal's condition looks concerning, owners should take the pet without hesitation to the veterinarian. VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital has the facilities to give the best care to your pet.
Tuskegee University, 2015
Citations: Cote, Etienne. Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Dogs and Cats. Third ed. St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby, 2015. 1002-1003. Print.
Gwaltney-Brant, Sharon. "Overview of Toad Poisoning." Toad Poisoning. 2014. Web. 5 July 2015.