Beware: Toxic toads lethal to pets - FOX 13 News

Beware: Toxic toads lethal to pets

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They look relatively harmless, but they can be lethal to your pets.

The recent heavy rain in the Tampa Bay area has brought out toxic Bufo toads, and they can be a problem all over Florida.

It seems some areas, including Temple Terrace, are seeing a lot of them. And word of advice from experts: If you're out walking your dog, especially somewhere near water, be on alert.

Just looking at them can make anyone a little squeamish. But the big issue is your pet. They can be deadly. It's now to the point where local veternarians are asking pet owners to be extra cautious.

The heavy rains are drawing them out. Most are grayish-brown, and the exact name is Bufo Marinus, but most people call them Bufo toads. They hold a toxin that is highly poisonous to dogs, cats and other pets, said Dr. Paul Langston of the Temple Terrace Animal and Bird Hospital.

"So if they get exposed to it, the chemical actually goes across the mucus membranes or in their mouth and they paw their mouths – it can get into their system very rapidly and cause seizures, coma or death," he said.

Be on the lookout for these toads and know to avoid them, experts say. A Bufo toad has already been blamed in the recent death of a Jack Russell Terrier whose owner lives along the Hillsborough River.

As for people, they're not as dangerous to us, but avoid picking them up and don't let your kids grab them.

And wash your hands immediately if you do come in contact with some. The same goes for your dog. If it comes in contact with the toad, take them to a vet immediately.

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