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Stop Poisonous Bufo Toads from Spraying Your Dog

Last Modified on Jul 19, 2015


Preventing Toad and Frog Poisoning in Dogs
True toads (known as Bufo in Latin), lack tails and teeth, but behind their eyes are wart-like structures called parotoid glands that secrete a poisonous substance to deter predators. While the ordinary handling of toads is not dangerous and does not cause warts (contrary to enduring popular belief), bufotoxin can have a wide variety of effects and is even used as medicine in some cultures.

Poison toads can easily affect a dog or puppy exploring the yard, going on a walk in the park, or given any opportunity for a dog to lick or mouth at a toad. Bufo marinus or the cane toad of Florida can cause a severe and sudden reaction in dogs. Symptoms of toad toxin poisoning include excessive salivation, pawing at the mouth, vocalization, very red gums, stiff movements or loss of coordination, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms from a poison toad can even progress to seizures or death.

Remedies for Bufo Toad Poisoning

On this page you can find user-submitted remedies and strategies for soothing your dog in the event of a poisoning and preventing them from coming into contact with bufo toads in the first place. Some of our popular remedies include: mothballs, liquid antiseptic, benadryl, or even keeping your dog muzzled. After reading about it on Earth Clinic, let us know what you try in order to keep your dog safe from toads. Know of a remedy not yet listed here? Let us know about it here!


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Most Popular Bufo Toads Remedies:

Flushing Mouth With Water3
Moth Balls3

User Reviews




Ammonia   2  0   

Posted by Meredith (Royal Palm Beach, Fl) on 07/31/2014

[YEA]  I don't like killing Bufo Toads, but I don't want my curious cat getting them and being poisoned. I created a humane way to get rid of them: go out when it rains & they'll pop out from their holes. Look in corners & against house/fence walls. Ahead of time, put a half inch of ammonia in the bottom of a coffee can. Scoop them up & put in the can for a minute, then dig a hole and dump the can of dead toads into it then bury so another animal can't get them. You don't see them die/suffering and it works quickly. Good riddance & good fertilizer. Please pass it on for dog & cat owners!

Replied by Miz Rose
Miami Florida
09/18/2014

My niece came crying and holding her cat. She was not from Florida and did not know about bufo/cane toads. The cat was seizing and dying! This was the first time I had seen the poison effects personally. I immediately grabbed an area rug and tightly rolled up the cat, leaving her head out so I could control her. Luckily there was a decent sprayer head with good pressure on the end of the hose. I very aggressively washed her mouth out nearly drowning her but I knew I had to remove the poison. It was all one instinctive act. It worked.

Posted by Lisa (West Palm Beach, Florida) on 05/12/2009

[YEA]  We have alot of Bufo Toads in area. Our dog run is secure with plexi glass to keep critters from getting in however these toads can get through very small cracks. The best way to get rid of them is pour 1/2 to 1 cup of ammonia on them. Amonia is cheap and since they breathe through thier backs the ammonia kills them instantly. I don't like killing anything however I have a few small dogs and can't risk one of my dogs getting a hold of the bufa toad. If I see one in my dog run I have to get rid of the toad before my dog goes after one. Small dogs are at most risk however my friends large dog swallowed a bufa toad and died within 15 minutes.

If your dog gets hold of a bufa immediately take a wet cloth and wipe gums and tongue. Then turn on side and run water through the mouth. Make sure your dog does not drink the water, you must get the poison out of the dogs mouth as quick as possible. Then rush to vet.

Replied by Ray
Lehigh Acres, Florida
07/26/2012

these frogs are all over my house front and back in lehigh acres, florida

one night I was walking out of the front of my house early hours of the morning and one jumped on my forehead, I went back in the house and used anti bactial hand wash on my forehead went on about what I was doing, and halfway along my trip to walmart I called posion control. they in response told me these frogs are deadly to dogs and have been known to cause epileptic sezuires in humans.

a few months later on june fifth I had a sezuire granted I am epileptic but it was my first one since right after my brain surgeries in 2003 to correct it so anything is possible with these frogs, was it the cause of my sezuire? not sure is it possible even a few months later? definitly!!!!

Replied by Tammy
Wellington
05/25/2014

My Jack Russell, Trixie got a bufo toad this evening. She's at Palms West Animal hospital. They have her sedated right now and she seems to be doing better. I will not be letting her or our other pets our after dark unattended again. So scary, I did get her into the bathtub to wash out her mouth but she had a seizure in the tub, so I strapped her up and rushed her to vet. I will take all the precautions posted here to prevent this from happening again.
Replied by Cnf
Wilton Manors, Florida
02/24/2015

Bufo toads are also out in the mornings so please make sure your animal is closely watched. My 15 pound dog is alive thanks to the quick action of the emergency vet hospital.

Ammonia, Mothballs   0  0   

Posted by Brenda (Lake Worth, Florida) on 04/25/2011

I live in Lake Worth Florida, I have two Brussell Giffons and they love to play in yard, we have alot Bufo toads here, I read all the articles they were great. I do the moth balls and I have a can of Ammonia always handy ready to spray and that really works on the spot. I don't dare let them out @ night by themself I stand on guard with my ammonia in hand. I have been lucky with my two dogs they are small breed, they see something moving and they attack. Your articles are life savers. Thank you Brenda, Molina, Shadow.

Replied by Westies
Lake Worth, Florida
05/04/2011

Hi Brenda, do moth balls work?
Replied by Elise
Wellington, Fla
06/18/2013

What do you do with the mothballs?
Replied by Conch29
Palm Beach Gardens, Fl
07/11/2013

From what I've read mothballs can be poisonous to pets also. My Westie is at the vet right now after a bufo attack. I'm looking at granules that you put on the ground. I've used a product iguana rid for lizards, I'm going to check them next. Good luck from Palm Beach Gardens
Replied by Deborah
Sebring, Florida
06/06/2014

The best thing I found to kill Bufo Giant Toads was bleach. Throw the bleach on them and they die within minutes. I no longer have giant toads around my house. It may not be totally inhumane, but they died quickly as possible.
Replied by Patti
Okeechobee, Fl
09/13/2014

Moth balls may work, but are illegal to use outdoors. They too can be poisonous to pets. Ammonia works best. When we go for a walk at night you can see them under street lights looking for bugs, I always have a spray bottle with me and it only takes seconds to kill them. The fire ants swarm on the dead ones. Guess it doesn't bother them! They also like tree frogs. They cannot climb and cannot spray. The animal has to lick it. They were brought here (another failed attempt to import something) to eat the grubs that were killing the sugar cane only to find out that it wasn't the grubs but the beetle it turns into that was eating the sugar cane and like I said, the toads can't climb so, so much for that. Now they of course mulitply like rats except by the hundreds and hence, we have an epidemic. Not nearly as bad as Australia though. They have tried everything and cannot stop them. Australia has now accepted them as part of the landscape. They also have no known predators and even a small gator can be killed by them.

Baby Shampoo, Olive Oil, Vet   0  0   

Posted by Paulette (Thonotosassa, Florida) on 06/23/2009

On June 22, 2009 our little Jack Russell was poisoned by a Bufo Toad. We caught her almost immediately after we saw her flipping it with her nose. Her left eye was shut. I immediately washed her head and nose with Baby Shampoo and rinsed for an extremely long time. I gave her a teaspoon of olive oil and she started throwing up volumous amounts of frothey white liquid. She started stiffening up and closed her left eye completely. We rushed her to the vet and they started an IV to push fluids. We were sent home as soon as she could walk. They gave us anti convulsants in case she started to have seizures in the night. I think that the extreme wash saved her life. We are still watching the eye to make sure that she doesn't form an ulcer from the poison. She is one lucky little dog.

Benadryl   1  0   

Posted by Linda (Bisbee, Arizona) on 09/06/2009

[YEA]  My ex, myself, and our magnificient and curious miniature australian shepherd were renting in what was "Dog Heaven". Acres and acres fenced to run in and a water reclamation system that included a series of sedimentary ponds, the largest and last full of Koi, pond vegation, and unbeknownst to us, bufos. We lived in the desert and water was scarce so even with fencing we dealt on a regular basis with mule deer (great sport for Roxy), along with vicious and deadly javelina. Needless to say she chased the deer off of the property gleefully, was not so gleefully ripped to pieces by a large javalina male and two females (treated that after throwing myself onto her and into the middle of the javelina's blood lust who would just as well kill a human as a dog (not smart). I got lucky making awful noises and they retreated. I treated this after carrying her into the house by filling and filling deep the gore holes that simply swallowed two bottles of the only thing on hand which was hydrogen peroxide and stuffed the wounds with dressing to put pressure inside hoping to stop the bleeding....yes, I know this is about bufos. The bleeding was totally stopped by morning and slowly she began to heal.

And now, the Bufo toads, One morning I went to drink my morning coffee with her while she took her morning swim, herding the koi from one end of the pond and back, something she did daily and for hours and I noticed a white film covering the enire pond. Then I looked at Roxy and could see her struggling to get on shore. By the time I had her in my arms she was convulsing with eyes rolled back. I checked her gum color for oxygen and they were very gray...all the meanwhile rubbing her everwhere trying to keep her blood flowing. Again, grabbed the only thing on hand which seemed close to appropriate, this time it was a full adult size benedryl pried her mouth open and opened the whole capsule in her mouth rubbing it into her tongue both top and bottom, on her gums thinking that from under the tongue on a human goes straight to the brain. Within just a few minutes her eyes began focusing and I began walking her just like a puppet thinking it might help keep her blood flow going, soon she began to try to walk on her own but needed help. She did show a rapid significant improvement with the benedryl, she weighs 29 to 34 lbs depending on how spoiled she is at the time. I am just sure the benedryl turned the tide. Roxy and I are moving back into this rental which was really paradise and peace for both of us so now I want to know....Exactly just how much benedryl I can give her at the max possible dosage, also does it come in a gel cap (haven't seen any) because in liquid form it would absorb much more quickly into her system.

I will definetely keep large amounts of vinegar for killing the toads and for her to drink and I very much appreaciate both this site and the information from all participants. I will also use the tub and light solution and lower the population. One more problem. It is my understanding that other frogs do not co-habitate with bufos so all of the guppies in differing stages are bufos. Roxy sticks her whole head into to the water trying to bite and catch them. Are they poisonous at this stage? During her second incident she crawled halfway from the pond headed towards the house when I found her. We went through the whole poisoning thing one more time and the benedryl once again brought her up quickly. Now I will use both prevention and cure. Bathub and lights and motor oil. I will make it my mission to lower the bufo toad population which it seems given the choices here will be a steady but doable new defense.

Thank you,
Linda A.
Bisbee, Arizona

EC: Cross-posted to the Pets - Wounds Care page, thank you!

Replied by Irina
Florida
05/13/2013

I am a little confused, you have mentioned your dog's pale gums, but as far as I know, bufo's poison irritates the gums, so they appear brick-red, which is a tell tale sign. Maybe your dog was getting into somerhing else, that she was allergic to?
Replied by 20yrswflvettech
Fort Myers, Fl
09/21/2013

Hi to all! I've been reading the comments here and I just wanted to respond with a few things.... 1st, I was born and raised here in SWFL, & I've been a vet tech @ an emergency vet clinic for the past 20 yrs. So Linda's question about how much Benadryl, the correct dose for dogs is 1mg per pound of body weight, so a 25 pound dog would get one (1) 25mg Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) tablet/capsule, or 10mls of childrens liquid Benadryl (check your labels, but MOST Liquid is 12.5mg/5ml). Next, unfortunately I've seen Bufo toxicity and deaths in dogs more than I'd like to count, and obviously prevention is your best bet, but it's true the best thing to do 1st is to immediately try to rinse your dogs mouth out with running water, then get your pet to the vet for them to treat the consequent symptoms caused by the toxins (ie seizures etc). Most dogs are killed from experiencing uncontrolled seizing, which left untreated will cause their temperature to rise quickly, effectively frying their internal organs (sorry about my graphic bluntness, but I want everyone to understand the seriousness of getting your pet the help he/she needs). You are all correct in keeping a close eye on your pets at night, as bufo's are generally nocturnal creatures, but they will come out during the day, especially during overcast rainy days, so be vigilant always. My neighborhood is overrun with the terrible toads and even though my dog is well trained and behaved, she is kept on a leash under a watchful eye.
Replied by Andie
Jensen Beach, Florida
05/13/2014

Our mini dachshund had a brief encounter with a poisonous bufu cane toad, and began to rub his mouth on the grass, and had some frothing of the mouth. We rinsed his mouth immediately with the garden hose, & continued with the shower hose while calling the vet. This site has a lot of good info. I wanted to add that I read on wikipedia that the tadpoles & young ARE also poisonous. Luckily, our doxie needed no more treatment. The vet also rinsed his mouth thoroughly, & released him. I'm not sure if benadryl was recommended or not...it has been years since this happened. He no longer gets to roam free in his fenced back yard due to these monsters. We do see them quite frequently & kill them. People should not leave any type of pet food out whatsoever; they even ate corn & other grains from bird food that fell out when I cleaned the bird cage. Thanks to all for all the info on these killers.
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
05/13/2014

Hey Andie!

Thanks for the reminder about not leaving any food out! I had no idea these toads would eat bird seed and grains!

Replied by Cathie
Tampa Bay Area
05/23/2014

Don't confuse toads with frogs--toads don't start as tadpoles like frogs do--(guppies)? Bufo toads are not frogs.
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
05/27/2014

Hey Cathie!

You are correct when you say toads and frogs are not the same thing! However as an FYI both toad and frog eggs DO hatch out as tadpoles.

Replied by Deb
Hobe Sound, Fl
05/17/2015

Tonight, my American Bulldog came into contact with one of these frogs. She immediately began frothing at the mouth excessively. My husband and I put her in the bath tub, pulled down the removable shower head and began rinsing the outside of her muscle, then running water into her mouth, trying not to let the water be swallowed. After we no longer so the frothing, we gave her a few cups of milk. We have read NOT to give her milk, however; this happened once before and the milk seemed to help. Thank God, after we washed the outside of her mouth and muzzle as well as the inside of her mouth, she drank the milk. Within about ten minutes of her drinking the milk, she got her toy and wanted to play, wagging her tail. There was no strange behavior from her. We are so thankful that she seems to be fine. For those that have experienced this, it is extremely scary, time is of the essence. I will try the moth balls outside, but from now on, when I take her outside in our back yard, she will be on a leash and I will have a flashlight so I can see the frog before she attacks it. I hope this helps. Thanks to everyone else for your helpful comments.
Replied by Suzie
Miami
06/17/2015

I live in an area surrounded by lakes, so there are lots of toads. My screened in patio was damaged a while back and a toad must have come in; now there are several. I have 2 small dogs. One is curious and just wants to look at them, the other has bitten them twice. He's survived both encounters and needed hospitalization once. His stomach and eating habits were not the same for about a month and he got a "high" from it. No seizures, just frantic behavior.

To add to the dangers is the annoyance. I found a small one in the dogs' water bowl, in the house (I must have left the door open) and I have witnessed them eating my dogs' feces from the garden. Quite disgusting!! Food must have been scarce. They are in my garage and leave their droppings all over the place. It smells worse than the dogs'. Yuck!

Salt does not work they flick it off with their hind legs. So, I tried spraying them with vinegar, then hitting them with salt. It was annoyed and went hopping off. Not sure if it worked.

Benedryl   0  0   

Posted by Kathy (Jupiter, Florida) on 06/29/2011

Please E mail a copy of your article to ulikediss(at)aim.com and Lisaeofolg(at)gmal.com I would greatly appreciate it. This is a wonderful article. Thank you Kercolano02(at)att.net

Bufo Toad Infestations   0  0   

Posted by Katherine (Jensen Beach, Fl) on 05/23/2015

I am seriously unnerved by these frogs. There are two large ones that will actually work their way up to my front door.

I take my outside cat his food and place it on the side of the house. Just went out to walk the dog and one of the frogs is square in the middle of the food with the other one nearby. The cat, thank heaven, is no where to be found.

I am nervous about spraying them with anything, but really want them gone! If food is what they are after, then would simply feeding the cat indoors eliminate the problem? My cat will rush out the door at any opportunity so I gave up long ago on making him an inside cat. He comes and goes. But I could change his eating habits if it is that simple. Something tells me they will lurk around the yard regardless of whether or not there is food available for them.

If one touched me I think I would die on the spot! I am now nervous about the dog because she is curious about them. When we are walking down the sidewalk toward the street to walk, if one of them hops the dog stops and pulls on the leash to get a better look. From what you are all posting, one encounter could be her last!

Well I guess I better at least arm myself with a spray bottle of amonia! And keep some benadryl handy as well!

I have not always had this problem. They just started showing up within the past two years. Why is there suddenly an infestation?

Replied by Wendy
Columbus, Oh
05/26/2015

To decrease/stop the bufo frogs, you really need to STOP putting the cat food outdoors. The food is attracting the frogs!

Cedar Bedding   0  0   

Posted by Gmacookie (Fort Pierce, Fl, Usa) on 09/19/2012

I've just moved back to S. Fla after many years away, and last night in my patio saw one of these giant toads;it was the size of a large cantelope (and not nearly as pretty); I had heard they were poisonous so immediately got online, found your wonderfully helpful site, went out this morning and bought a huge jug of ammonia, mothballs, and remembering how I used cedar bedding material in N. Ga to deter pests around the house foundation, bought a large bale of that (Kmart for that, walmart only had the small size bale). It may do as well as the mothballs, or even better, since it is the cedar smell of mothballs I suppose they don't like, and this shredded cedar bedding will be yukky for them to get on their feet. I will spread it all around the fenceline, my patio is maybe 14 x 20, so it should cover every inch of fence. I'll let you know if it's effective.

I do have a question: does their poop look like a malted milk ball? because I found one of these round brown things this morning close to where I'd seen it last night. Boy, that thing disappeared in a flash, so I hope I can chase them away from here because I doubt I could move fast enough to pour the ammonia on it, however sure will try.

Replied by Sydney
Brandon, Fl
09/28/2013

In regards to the cedar bedding idea to keep the Cane Toad away, that is where my two Cane Toads were living.

I am housesitting for a friend and sometimes put food out for the cats. I started noticing these two large toads eating the cat food while they were sitting in the cat food bowl. I thought it was great to have two outdoor "frog pets. " I even took pictures of the toads in the red cat bowl eating, and posted them on Facebook.

Two nights ago, my male cat was sitting on my outstretched legs sleep. All of of the sudden he went stiff and his front legs extended out... Even the claws. He slowly shook his head back and forth. His eyes were huge and he didn't seem to recognize me. I pick him up, talking to him the whole time. It wasn't like a seizure. I started petting him and talking to him. He finally came around, but was having difficulty walking. He finally just laid down on all four legs. By the next day, he was OK. He is a very old cat and hasn't been cleaning his front paws very well, but I think he did while on my legs. He probably pawed one but never licked it until that night.

Yesterday, I saw a news segment on TV about the Cane Toad. Imagine my horror when I saw "my toads" on TV. I used to feed them at night and they would come at the sound of the cat food dropping into the bowl.

That is how I was able to catch one of them today. He heard the sound and came to eat. They live in the garden, that I landscaped with cedar bark. If I ever scared them, they would borrow down into the cedar bark and would be almost impossible to spot. I still have one Cane Toad on the loose. Hopefully, it will come out tonight. I tried putting cat food out last night, but the only visitor I had was a opposum.

i am interested if anyone else has their Cane Toads living in their cedar bark.

Replied by Andrea C
Wales
09/30/2013

Cane Toads emit a poison on their skin and it can be lethal! People (who are insane in my opinion) lick them to get high, do NOT try it!! It does terrible things to all Animals and People. Love Andrea C xxx

Flushing Mouth With Water   3  0   

Posted by Gordy (Naples, Fl) on 05/03/2014

[WARNING!]  I patrol the area with my Pellet gun. Our yorkie got in to a Bufo toad. Effect was immediate but we knew the protocol and washed his mouth & face, then headed to the emergency vet clinic. He had a bad night but survived.

Posted by Jay (Tampa, Pinellas) on 09/28/2011

[YEA]  This is the second time that I have had one of my Frenchies lick or eat these toads ( by the way, they all have some form of nurotoxin) The first dog I revived 5 times on the way to the Emergency Vet. She had a 5% survival rate. Tonight (9/28) My second female Frenchie ate a small one. They go absolutely spastic trying to get the toxins out of their mouth. Both times hitting them with Benedryl help, also you need to get as much of the toxins out of their mouths(wet Cloth). She was bleeding profusely from the mouth due to a dollar shape (necrotic) circle.

It may sound cruel but I also took the hose from the sink and forced as much water into her stomach and mouth. The first was to ensure she threw up, second to clean as much of the toxin into a wet cloth. The key is whatever you do has to be quick. The first 15 mins to half hour are critical. I have not heard of the vinegar before but if it works and I will check with the VET in the morning. Please pay attention to ALL toads. Theses incidents occured in Delray Beach and Palm Harbor.

Replied by Holly
West Palm Beach, Fl
05/05/2013

My vet says that the poison is ON their mouth, lips, gums, etc., and that inducing vomiting is not only unnecessary, but dangerous... The idea is to rinse the poison through, out and off of the mouth. We use a hose from one side and then the other with the dog's head forced downward, wiping the slime away and OFF with fingers and a towel. In my opinion, FAST rinsing is the only cure. Seizures and death can be astonishingly quick. Our dogs NEVER go out after daylight alone. It's too dangerous, especially in the spring and summer, here in West Palm.
Replied by Sarah
Boynton Beach, Fl
07/18/2015

How can we tell if it's a bufo? We have these small toads near our place and I always freak out when Tucker (our 6 month old Australian Shepherd) goes after them. I only ever see small toads here in Boynton (I remember seeing the big ones when I lived out in the Acreage). Should I still be freaking out? Tucky has ye to catch one because I am such a nut about taking him out at night, but he's bound to get one eventually.
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
07/19/2015

Hey Sarah!

You really need to identify the toads you are seeing- this really is a life/death situation.

All toads are genus 'bufo' - the poison ones are the alien cane toads - they lack ridges in the middele of their heads between the eyes - you can feel these ridges on the native non-poison toads.

Check it out for help identifying species:

http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/frogs/canetoad.shtml

Posted by Scissorgurl (Honolulu, Hi) on 07/21/2011

I moved to Hawaii 7 months ago and have never heard of a Bufo Toad. I have to boston terriers about 20 to 25lbs each and luckily the 1st time I caught it right away and rinsed there mouths being sure to keep them from not swallowing the water, its hard but try your best. It worked best for me to lay them on there side so it would drain out. And if the jaw locks up I used my sons fork that has the rubber grip to prey his mouth open to get some air. And then once you get them able to move a little and breathe go to the vet if not sooner. After that the vet told me they come out at night so be careful so after 5 I NEVER let them outside I only walked them on a leash. During the day I never saw them until monday afternoon I let them out while I had people delivering my sons bed and when I went to get them less than an hour later I found one dog already dead and the other I took to the vet. He stayed 3 days and now has edema on his left side the vet said he has never seen that before but he is ok. They are litter mates so I worry about him, This has been so difficult I dont know how I am going to get through this I feel like its my fault and I know people said they didnt want to kill the toads but I will now go out of my way to do so if I see one because they killed my family member. These are no joke! Watch out and take precautions. R. I. P Monk! You were the greatest dog!

Replied by Mrsmike6
Boynton Beach, Florida
02/24/2013

My question I suppose is what I have read a little about here. What can you do around the outside of your house? I read something about cedar? What else can you do? I have 2 mini dachshunds and am scared for them! I had a Bofu toad IN my garage this morning when I went out to get my newspaper! I took a long handled broom and ushered it outside. I will continue to go outside with my dogs to make sure it went away! What can I do outside my home to help keep them away OR make it unattractive to those creepy things. Thank You. Michaeleen
Replied by Holly
West Palm Beach, Fl
05/05/2013

So sorry for your loss. All dogs go to heaven. I'm careful, but your heartbreak reminds me to be MORE careful and take NO chances. Blessings.

Posted by Kristin (Pahoa, Hi) on 11/22/2009

My Pit has a grudge againt the Bufo frogs we have here in Hawaii and I find it interesting that nobody seems to know they exist here too! The last two weekends in a row he has gotten ahold of one. Luckily he didn't swallow it, just shook it. He immediate began froth at the mouth, his jaw locked up. I dragged him inside and started the flushing process. It usually takes about fifteen minutes of flushing with clear water and wiping gums with a wet cloth before I can even get his jaw open to start on the inside of his mouth. I know everyone says to flush the inside, but when a pitbull locks his jaw, it takes a lot more strength than I have to open it... Luckily my Pit is a big pussycat and the only danger is that he can't control his jaws when this happens.. I have noticed when they begin to unlock, they do have a tendency to involunarily snap back shut the first several times so watch your fingers!!

Posted by Jim (Stuart, Florida) on 06/07/2008

[YEA]  There are two forms of Bofus frog, only one is dangerous.

In my many years I have found that a garden hose and wasting the mouth of the dog, holding the head sideways, as quickly as possible is very effective in saving the dog. Also rub the mouth and gums. Once it gets into the blood stream, it will take 15 minutes or less to kill a dog or cat, generally a smaller size. Humans will get a rash or burning eyes so wash asap.

The bad one is the Bufo marinus. The Southern Toad is the smaller of the two, no larger then 3 inches and is not plump as the other is.

They are brown or gray-brown on top, sometimes with cream colored spots scattered across their backs, sides and legs. The underside is a sickly pale yellow, sometimes flecked with black. The back and legs are covered with spiny warts.

Replied by Mae
San Ramon, Costa Rica
06/16/2008

[WARNING!]   Bufo Toads: I am reading your postings, but too late after the fact, unfortunately. I wish I had known how very deadly this toad really is, and am writing things to my friends here also to let them know just how deadly they are. This weekend, my 2 little Bichon dogs got a hold on one, and the larger dog is very protective and within a minute he was showing all the symptoms stated. The littler one must only have given it a lick because he recovered. The larger one did not. They are such small animals, and in spite of my natural instinct to rinse their mouths with running water, it did not help the bigger one. He had gotten it into his blood stream within less than a minute that it took me to separate them. It was only 10 minutes until the one was gone. I will never be remiss again in keeping dogs on a short leash. I want everyone to know the danger they present.

EC: So sorry for your loss.

Replied by Valerie
Port Saint Lucie, Fl
07/04/2011

THat is heartbreaking. Thank you so much for the info. Today I thought I had found a friend in my front yard (the frog) but now I feel I need to do something about it.

Posted by Linda (Pahoa, Hawaii) on 07/06/2007

[YEA]  In Hawaii and at night, the Bufo Toads rule the garden. When the garden contains several koi ponds, you better believe the toads are in residence. My large rotti/lab mix has gotten in the habit of hunting these poisonous critters. By habit, I mean she is addicted to the "high" she gets when she bites into one of these creatures. I've taken to flushing out her mouth with water using the garden hose when she approaches me and is frothing at the mouth. Eyes glazed, rolling on the lawn, and snorting, she appears to be having a grand old time. The only way I can prevent her from indulging in this toad sport is to tie her up or keep her in the house at night. The toads are an asset in the garden as they keep the centipede population in check as both creatures are nocturnal. We are learning to co-exist and I am lucky my dog weighs over 100 lbs and is only mildly affected by this toad venom.

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Posted by Nancy (Jupiter, Fl) on 01/04/2012

Bufo toads-BLEACH. WORKS. Spraying vinegar or bleach or anything else on them does Not. To kill these deadly poisonous toads either shoot them or catch them and put them in a bucket with bleach. They die instantly. Running over them with a golf cart, or even my car, did not kill them! Online it says they lay 30,000 eggs every other day. Killing one toad a week is not helping.

So far there is not a suitable pesticide to rid us of these venomous creatures that were imported from Australia to Hawaii and South Florida to help the sugar cane owners rid their cane fields of their own pests to protect their profits. Problem is the toads took over and have become a (VERY DEADLY) pest to All of us. The sugarcane owners should be held responsible for this scourge. They should be held responsible to financially support science to find a 'cure' that will rid us of this deadly toad. This toad has the potential to eventually be in all warm weather states killing our pets. Similiar to the Lyme tick. The 'new' tick that was thought to only infect animals until it was finally discovered it infected humans. Who knew about this poisonous debilitating tick 25 yrs ago. Now it is rampant in Every single state, not just Lyme, Connecticut where it started.

To try to rid our areas of as many toads as I can, I went to Wal-Mart and was in line purchasing a BB air gun. In line next to me were 7 others. They all were purchasing various guns. We looked at each other and all said almost at the same time... "Toads. " All 7 of us were trying to protect our pets from horrific, painful and drawn out death because sugar cane owners brought in these deadly creatures. Snakes, birds of prey like hawks, normal animals that might eat frogs, do not touch these toads. They somehow know better. Our house pets do not.

My golden retriever has touched( not even eaten) a toad with his nose and been poisoned. All 4 times I was right there with him. Once he was even on a leash. In the yard the toads look like a leaf or piece of bark. All 4 times the toads were very small-2-3 inches. (I have killed them bigger than my entire hand including my fingers). I put the hose sideways in his mouth and stood straddling him so I could force his head down. You do Not want any water to get into his lungs and get pneumonia. I rinsed his mouth and rub his gums, insides of cheeks, tongue with a wet rag many times also. I hosed him 15 minutes minimum each time. Then rushed to vet. One time I thought I got it all, only to find him foaming again in the car. Luckily the nightime vet clinic is nearby.

One day, hopefully in the very near future, we will get some big-time help from one of the chemical companies that have the funds to research a cure for this problem. It is already an epidemic in Australia and will be one here in South Florida soon.

I think a concerted move should be made by concerned citizens to our legislators to lobby the chemical companies for help to protect our pets.

My friends call me the 'toad vigilante'. So be it. Toads or my dogs? Toads are winning now. Let's end this war.

Replied by Dan
Miami, Florida
02/03/2012

First off, they aren't called "Bufos. " Bufo is the Genus of basically all standard "toads. " The only one anybody needs to be wary of is the Bufo Marinus, the "Cane Toad." They aren't a pest, they aren't a scourge, and the only reason they're even remotely dangerous is because dogs sometimes like to eat them. You do NOT need to find horrific, murderous solutions to your toad "problems." Toads are one of the most helpful creatures to have around your home, eating basically every kind of household pest, from mosquitoes to roaches to mice.

I have two dogs and absolutely adore them, and I would die for them. However, the last thing I would do is savagely murder a defenseless toad when I could easily put on gloves, pick it up, and place it somewhere more safe. If you have to move them because you don't want your dog to eat them, then at least do it in a non-lethal, non-medieval way. Throwing them in a vat of bleach? Really? Do you cut off people's hands when they steal a popsicle? They're more helpful than harmful. Catch them in a bucket and let them go in a swamp. You should consider yourself fortunate to have such a helpful animal around your home.

Replied by Geena
Royal Palm Beach, Fl
04/07/2012

Dan, We will see how cruel you think it is when you lose one of your pets. I am extremely careful when I let me pets out. I have put chicken wire and plexiglass around my yard. I have treated with rock salt and mothballs for prevention. However, it doesn't matter what I do these cane toads come back. I now kill the cane toads and have found my tree frog population has increased which is wonderful. It is great to sit in judgment of others until you are in their shoes.

I have three dogs under 2 lbs. I am not willing to risk an encounter as it would cause almost immediate death to my dogs. Your rationale is the same as keeping a rattlesnake in my back yard.

To those wishing to get an upperhand... I have found that by walking with salt it immediately causes them to flee. Also, it tends to impair them for easy capture as well. Vinegar has no effect and bleach not much... Will try the ammonia.

Good luck to all... trying to keep their family safe.

Replied by Paul
Fort Myers, Florida
07/21/2013

Dan, these are just toads killing our pets, brought in by suger farmers. Killing a toad is not murder, as you put it. If mosquitoes land on you do you let them draw your blood? I bet not. You murder them like everyone else because they carry a possible deadly disease. (EEE / West Nile Virus) By the way, I traveled the world during my military career. In South West Asia there are countries that will cut off a hand for stealing. That's why crime rates are lower. Penalties are much stiffer for all crime.
Replied by Nanci
Miami, Fl
07/06/2015

In case anyone needs to know what to try if they are nowhere near a CLOSE EOUGH vet! TIME is of the essence here. I have saved dogs already in seizures many times down here in Miami where Buffos are everywhere.. On our 5 acres they are hunted down and killed (baseball bat is kinder.. bleach salt an ammonia will kill them but they DO suffer) and therefore we are not INFESTED, but there is always ONE somewhere. IF anyone finds their dog acting like something tastes nasty, is frothing, or even SEES them playing with a toad.... rinse rinse rinse and do NOT stop rinsing until the dog is acting normally again. IF the dog seems to be starting with seizures - eyes darting, disoriented, staggering..you have to bring the core temperature DOWN QUICKLY and I have iced for two hours on more than one occasion, all the while rinsing lips, tongue, under tongue, inside cheeks, roof of mouth, (check their eyes too! ). DO NOT STOP! Once the body temp hits 103 and is on the way down and their gums are not as BRICK RED (not GRAY as someone described- that must have been something different and Benadryl will NOT save your dog from a toad's neuro toxin)... you can take them out of the ice. IF they are already in seizures you won't be able to rinse as well as needed (but keep trying) and get them in ice (keep their body SOAKED with ice on the head especially, and belly and feet).... and IF you have a Valium... crush the pill, put in a small amount of water and syringe it slowly, rectally... Valium should stop the seizing and the SEIZING is the KILLER because not only does the toad toxin send the body temp soaring, the seizures accelerate it. This is just like in overheated dogs, you HAVE to bring the core temp down as quickly as possible. We are so far from the Emergency Vet down here I have had to learn what it is they do at the vet's office... Valium administered IV and their meds to bring the temp down (which I can't do) but in an emergency do everything you can to keep the core body temp under control. Even do Ice on the way to the vet and GO QUICKLY if you can get to one!


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