This morning I saved our 13 year old pug Rosie from an encounter with a deadly Toad ! Toads they can be very poisonous, include the Sonoran Desert or Colorado River toad (Incilius alvarius; formerly known as Bufo alvarius) & the Marine or Cane toad (Rhinella marinus; formerly known as Bufo marinus). These toads are very large in size, often reaching 8 or 9 inches when mature & are only found in certain parts of North America, including the region between Arizona & California & in Florida, Texas, Hawaii, & other tropical areas. The Marine toad is considered to be more poisonous, & most dogs poisoned by these toads will die if untreated. Just mouthing or holding the toad in the mouth can result in poisoning & death. Dogs can even be poisoned by drinking the water out of container that a toad sat in. Poisoning is due to steroids compounds (bufotoxins & bufodienolids) & biogenic amines such as bufotenins, bufotionins, epinenephrine, serotonin, & others found in the toad’s parotid glands & skin. Mouthing, chewing or otherwise playing with the toad causes compression of the glands & secretion of the poison. Contact with the mucous membranes or ingestion can result in severe, immediate drooling, followed by an elevated temperature, brick red mucous membranes, abnormal heart rhythms, difficulty breathing, seizures, & even death. If you suspect your dog mouthed, licked or ingested a toad, rinse the mouth out immediately & take your dog to your veterinarian !
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